Feeds

Choppers to buzz Tux colonies in bid to make penguins keel

Investigation of synchronised falling over a shoe-in for Ig Nobels

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

The Royal Navy is co-operating with British scientists in an exercise that looks odds-on favourite for a win in next year's Ig Nobel prizegiving ceremony. For five weeks this winter HMS Endurance and its two helicopters will be in South Georgia helping check to see how stressed penguins get when they fall over while watching aircraft.

The phenomenon of synchronised keeling in the Tux community has been known since the Falklands war brought regular air traffic to the islands. Heartless British fighter pilots allegedly* fly past tens of thousands of penguins, who lean over in unison as they watch the jets streak by. The jets then bank sharply, scream back in the other direction, and the entire penguin colony loses its balance and keels.

Funnily enough, we haven't been in a position to verify this. But The scientific team heading out to South Georgia thinks it's serious enough. The Endurance's helicopters will fly around in order to make penguins fall over, while the team stands poised to measure the resultant stress.

"Helicopters?" We hear you cry. "Shouldn't that be fighter planes?" Ah, but the team will go back next winter for another five weeks of follow-up tests with fixed wing aircraft... ®

* In the interests of bandwidth minimisation we wish to point out that we know this story has been around a long time, that it might be an urban legend, but that it's funny anyway. So don't hassle us, OK?

Related Link

The Ig Nobel Home Page

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys
Little men straddle LOHAN, attend tiny G20 Summit... ah, sweet memories...
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest
New minifigs like Monster Fighters are turning kids to the dark side
Dark SITH LORD 'Darth Vader' joins battle to rule, er, Ukraine
Only I can 'make an empire out of a republic' intones presidential candidate
Chinese company counters pollution by importing fresh air
Citizens line up for bags of that sweet, sweet mountain air
Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'
Mountain View is prankin' like it's 1999...
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.