A possible contender for the 2011 Ignoble prize is the study by Phil Dupp and Terry Soranje in which they have discovered that fat people are better at finding hidden food than thin people.
"It's a linear scale," said Soranje. "The fatter you get, the better you become at locating hidden food."
"We have tried to account for as many variables as we can," said Dupp. "Socio-economic background, metabolic rate, hair colour, shoe size and what colour their sofas are. Basically, there is a strong correlation between the weight in kilogrammes and the speed at which food is located."
The pair hid cheese and smoked mackerel in a variety of places around the Leeds University staff room, and invited in a variety of people from the skeletal to the morbidly obese.
"Basically," said Dupp, "if they fit through the door of the staff room, they could take part in the study."
"We did learn quite quickly to remove the staff biscuit box before letting the fatties in," said Soranje. "but even accounting for them stopping to munch the bourbons, the tubbies outperformed the skinnies."
The pair are now attempting to discover if people who are adept at finding food become fat, or if becoming fat introduces the ability to locate food.
"Basically," said Dupp, "we want to find out if anybody is capable of acquiring this skill."
To this end, Dupp has been on a high calorie diet of fast food, take-aways and milkshakes.
"We tested his ability before the diet," said Soranje. "We will test it once he's a big fat tubby lard arse."
Although Dupp may be enjoying his diet of pizza and pie, the head of the faculty is less than impressed.
"I was unaware that pair of morons were doing this study," said Toby Lardass. "However, it does explain where that stink of fish and cheese in the staff room came from."