Remember that time scientists tweeted beautiful, breathtaking, amazing photos of the totally badass stuff they do out in the field? The new Twitter hashtag #fieldworkfails tells the rest of the story.
Science isn’t always clean and pretty. Fieldwork, in particular, is usually pretty messy. The new hashtag catalogs all the goofs, forgotten and lost equipment, and broken cars and bones. If your only knowledge of scientists comes from their triumphant press conferences, these tweets will teach you a thing or two.
Butterflies that failed to show up for my elaborate experiment flew by my window while I was doing dishes at home #fieldworkfail— Dr. Christie Bahlai (@cbahlai) July 31, 2015
Went all the way to Antarctica to study scallop swimming, scallops attached to rocks and don't swim. Ever. #fieldworkfail— David Bailey (@davemarinebio) July 31, 2015
#fieldworkfail My daughter, tracking water voles, found them to be flying. Turned out frequencies switched with colleague tracking bats.— Len Fisher (@LenFisherScienc) July 31, 2015
Watching a mob of emus diligently remove shiny metal 'permanent' tags affixed to plants for 'long-term' veg ecology study #fieldworkfail— David M Watson (@D0CT0R_Dave) July 31, 2015
Decided to discreetly dissect mice right away in the "field", i.e. NYC park. Someone calls NYPD, cop points gun in my face #fieldworkfail— Jason Munshi-South (@urbanevol) July 31, 2015
Get dengue fever. Try following monkeys anyway. Hip feels broken. Become delirious. Write in elvish all over field pants. #fieldworkfail— Dr. Christopher Schmitt (@fuzzyatelin) July 31, 2015
Accidentally glued myself to a crocodile while attaching a radio transmitter. #fieldworkfail— Agata Staniewicz (@AgataStaniewicz) July 30, 2015
I couldn’t help but add my own story from the summer I spent studying clam parasites.
That time muddy low-tide water splashed directly into my fresh eyebrow piercing. It got infected. #fieldworkfail— Cynthia McKelvey (@NotesOfRanvier) July 31, 2015
Science is not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.
Photo via Steven Vanderwerff/Wikimedia (PD)