#StrangeScience - Tickled rats and killer licorice

They did a study on what? Every now and then, a story will pop up about a team of researchers doing studies on things we would never think to do studies on. For example, this week's strange study is all about tickling rats. More specifically, the study is about how not all rats like to be tickled.

"Rat laughter" has been observed before among rat lovers and scientists, but a group of researchers from the University of Bristol in the UK wanted to go further down the rat laughter hole and started tickling a bunch of different rats.

The University released a statement saying, "The researchers found not all rats like to be tickled and that some rats emitted very high numbers of calls whilst others did not, and these calls are directly related with their emotional experience."

Lead Researcher Emma Robinson said, "What we have shown in this study is that the vocalizations made by rats in response to tickling are an accurate reflection of their emotional experience and something which is easy to measure."

Apparently this new study could help improve the welfare of animals kept in laboratories. Hey doc, you know what would really improve their welfare? Don't keep them cooped up in a lab 24/7 running tickle experiments on them.

Anyway, in today's edition of #StrangeScience we dive into the world of rat tickle, learn about the dangers of black licorice, bemoan the fact that a big asteroid is going to fly right by us, and discuss why California wines are going to taste like smoke for a while. Here's #StrangeScience!

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