How much force does it take to pull out nose hair?
Have you ever pulled out a nose hair and felt like part of your brain came with it? Have your eyes watered from the extreme pain? Did you wonder how much force it took? Would you pull out 50 more hairs afterwards, using precise measuring instruments, to determine the answer IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE?
Of course you would! Who wouldn't be curious to know how much force is required to yank out some nose pubes? Gary S. Prinz and Cameron D. Murray, a couple of engineers in Arkansas with nothing better to do, went into their lab determined to find the answer.
To get their measurements the authors attached a pair of clamping tweezers to a wire and attached the wire to a 10N S-type load cell. Data from the load cell was passed to an HBM Quantum X data acquisition system and stored in a computer for later analysis. By clamping the tweezers to a single nose hair and then slowly pulling the load cell away, until the hair is pulled out by its root, the two scientists gathered the necessary data.
Since one data point is insufficient for doing any kind of serious science, the authors pulled out 50 hairs from their own nasal cavities, one hair at a time, in order to get 100 data points.
They were able to finally determine that nasal hair pullout strength from the combined 100 samples varied between 0.043 and 0.726 N with mean pullout strengths of 0.430 and 0.293 N for Subject 1 and Subject 2, respectively.
Furthermore, results indicated that nasal hair thickness (diameter) is unrelated to the required extraction force, but that the root-width-to-hair-diameter ratio appears to be a better indicator of the required force.
According to the two men, The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper. This work was funded by human curiosity alone...
I'm guessing alcohol played a part as well. The best science experiments always involve a lot of alcohol.
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