And now for something completely different: Man lives as a goat. Yes, You heard that right. An acclaimed engineer got fed up with his life, which included award-winning designs and TED talks, and decided to spend a few days living as a goat.
Now he has rejoined the human world and has even won an Ignobel prize for his experience. Although, as this hysterical video clip shows, not everyone seems to be on board with his life choices. You are going to die laughing when you watch this video.
Thomas Thwaites is an unusually gifted young man. The thirty-five-year-old designer and engineer once gave a TED talk in which he introduced a remarkable new toaster that he had built, as close from scratch as can be attained without taking Einstein’s edict about apple pies literally.
But the accolades and successes left him feeling the want for a different experience. He decided that he needed a new perspective on life, one perhaps not so wrapped up in the trappings of the modern human experience.
And so he decided to live as a goat.
Yup. he even went so far as to have prostheses that he designed constructed to allow him to move like the animals and a special digester that would process his grass-based food into something a human could consume more efficiently. He spent three days, living with a herd of goats in the countryside, grazing on grassy hills, drinking from streams, and butting heads for social standing.
It had been his hypothesis that living as a more simple animal would be less stressful and enjoyable, but he discovered that life ain’t easy for any of us, no matter how many legs, or stomachs, we may have.
After his experience, he spoke with the Telegraph, saying “ suffered quite a lot as a goat, because of the slope I was constantly falling over, and of course, I had to eat grass.”
Now, he has been awarded the Ig Nobel prize for his research. The prize, awarded every year by Improbable Research at Harvard University, is an award meant to celebrate the achievements of science that make us laugh, and then think. The recipients are handed the awards by bona fide Nobel Laureates who, presumably, were kidnapped to participate.
Previous winners include a team that studied the adhesion qualities of human snot, and Volkswagen, for “solving the problem of excessive automobile pollution emissions by automatically, electromechanically producing fewer emissions whenever the cars are being tested.”
One recent winning team received the award for “discovering that if you have an itch on the left side of your body, you can relieve it by looking into a mirror and scratching the right side of your body (and vice versa).”
While many take this award as a tongue-in-cheek dig at pure science with no practical application, the truth is, some of this science may actually matter someday.
Thwaites gained an impressive new understanding of a different species by living as one of them. His new book on the experience may yet become a sort of guide for animal behaviorists and even human psychology.
Would you ever try to live like another species of animal? Which animal would you want to be? And don’t say housecat, because that isn’t a thing. Share your ideas with us here.