It is of no secret that teaspoons tend to mysteriously disappear, especially in offices and public places.
In this week's BMJ, researchers at the Burnet Institute in Australia attempt to measure the phenomenon of teaspoon loss and its effect on office life.Finally, but I mean, finally someone has taken the matter seriously. Of course, the mystery is too deep to uncover with one study and the scientists recommend this research to become a priority.
They purchased and discreetly numbered 70 stainless steel teaspoons (54 of standard quality and 16 of higher quality). The teaspoons were placed in tearooms around the institute and were counted weekly over five months.
After five months, staff were told about the research project and asked to complete a brief anonymous questionnaire about their attitudes towards and knowledge of teaspoons and teaspoon theft.
During the study, 56 (80%) of the 70 teaspoons disappeared.
One possible explanation for the phenomenon is resistentialism (the theory that inanimate objects have a natural aversion to humans), they write. This is demonstrated by the fact that people have little or no control over teaspoon migration.
I salute them.