As you can see here, the more the US spends on science, space, and technology, the more people kill themselves by hanging, strangulation, and suffocation. Of course, this is just a spurious correlation: Correlation doesn't mean causation. Although Nic Cage films causing people to drown in pools is plausible.

Source: Center for Disease Control and IMDB.

This is all the work of Tyler Vigen, a self-defined "science and discover lover" who is now working on his J.D. at Harvard Law School. He created his website Spurious Correlations as a "fun way to look at correlations and to think about data."

Empirical research is interesting, and I love to wonder about how variables work together. The charts on this site aren't meant to imply causation nor are they meant to create a distrust for research or even correlative data. Rather, I hope this project fosters interest in statistics and numerical research.

Some of his charts are even more hilariously absurd, like the almost perfect correlation between divorce in Maine and consumption of margarine:

Source: CDC and USDA

Or this inverse correlation: It appears that the less honey producing bee colonies, the more police arrests young people for marijuana possession.

Source: DEA and USDA

This one suggest that we may have to give mozzarella cheese to your kids if you want them to become a civil engineering doctorate:

Source: National Science Foundation and USDA

This one, on the other hand, I can totally believe there's actually causation: The more people play arcades in the US, the more computer science doctors.

Source: National Science Foundation and USDA

Or finally, one of my favorites: Cheese consumption per capita correlates to the number of people who died by becoming tangled in their bedsheets.

Source: CDC and USDA

Which brings up the question: How the hell do people die tangled in their bedsheets? And why is the number of deaths increasing? According to the Centers for Disease Control, 717 died in 2009 and 809 in 2008!

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