We suspect that you’ve never wondered how to quantify the exact side effects of sword swallowing. What is surprising is that some one else has. And that they’ve written a paper on the subject. (Conclusion: “Sword swallowers run a higher risk of injury when they are distracted . . .”). Improbable Research — and its print publication The Annals of Improbable Research — catalog scientific research being conducted into areas that we wouldn’t think any self-respecting scientist would go near. The site navigation is a little confusion to us; if you are just browsing you’d do well to start with the posts about the lg Nobel (a sort of unofficial Nobel prize for improbable research). And please, do not read this site and sword swallow at the same time.