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Scientists share their most embarrassing fieldwork stories

Field work

Steven Vanderwerff/Wikimedia (PD)

Sometimes scientists screw up on the job, too.

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.

I couldn’t help but add my own story from the summer I spent studying clam parasites.

Science is not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.

Photo via Steven Vanderwerff/Wikimedia (PD)

Cynthia McKelvey

Cynthia McKelvey

Cynthia McKelvey covered the health and science for the Daily Dot until 2017. She earned a graduate degree in science communication from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2014. Her work has appeared in Gizmodo, Scientific American Mind, and Mic.com.