Australian scientists: Maybe they need a little more to do around the lab.
Missing spoons stir scientists into action
Australian scientists have proved what is common knowledge to most people - teaspoons appear to have minds of their own.
In a study at their own facility, a group of scientists from the Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health in Melbourne secretly numbered 70 teaspoons.
They then tracked the movement of the spoons over five months.
Supporting their expectations, 80 per cent of the spoons vanished during the period.
The spoons in private areas of the institute lasted nearly twice as long as those in communal sections.
"At this rate, an estimated 250 teaspoons would need to be purchased annually to maintain a workable population of 70 teaspoons," they wrote in Friday's festive edition of the British Medical Journal.
They say their research proves that teaspoons are an essential part of office life and the rapid rate of disappearance proves that this is under relentless assault.
Regretting that scientific literature is "strangely bereft" of teaspoon-related research, the scientists have offered a few theories to explain the phenomenon.
Taking a tip from Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy books, they suggest that the teaspoons are quietly migrating to a planet uniquely populated by "spoonoid" life forms living in a spoonish state of Nirvana.
They also offer the phenomenon of "resistentialism" in which inanimate objects like teaspoons have a natural aversion to humans.
On the other hand, they suggested, people might simply be taking them.