Keswick University's year long study into the sales of nail clippers has come to a remarkable conclusion.
"We discovered that nail clippers very rarely break," said Ian Dexter, who headed up the study. "They are generally very sturdy. Yet they are one of the most commonly bought beauty items. Additionally, most Christmas crackers give away nail clippers. Where do they all go?"
Calculations by the students worked out that there should be in circulation enough nail clippers to have two nail clippers for every nail in the UK. Including toe nails.
"We have been investigating a few hypotheses as to where the nail clippers are disappearing to," said Dexter. "We have already discounted that they are breaking by subjecting nail clippers to every stress test we can imagine. Including using them as impromptu wire cutters, screwdrivers and even for cutting toe nails."
They have been left with two competing hypotheses as to the ultimate destination of the countries nail clippers.
"Half of the students have gone for the conspiracy theory," said Dexter. "They have posited that nail clipper manufacturers are sneaking into people's homes and stealing nail clippers. These then go onto be used in Christmas crackers. If this is true, I'm never using a pair of Christmas cracker nail clippers again."
The second theory is even more outlandish. "We also think that there might be lots of very small people who live alongside humans," said Dexter. "These people use nail clippers as a source of steel. The clippers are mined out of existence. They could be steel eating bacteria, but we'd have seen nail clippers in various states of decomposition."
To test this hypothesis, the Keswick students have set up a monitoring station with twenty nail clippers being monitored by cameras.
"If they so much as tremble, we'll have the evidence," said Dexter. "If nothing happens to them, it must be the manufacturers who have realised that they cannot steal these. What with all the cameras on them. While we're waiting, you wouldn't happen to have a pair of nail clippers would you? My nails need trimming and all my nail clippers are currently being watched by cameras in the lab."