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If you are the kind of person who likes to learn odd facts like the coincidence of the spiking in accidental drownings in pools and how they compare to when Nicolas Cage is appearing in a film, than this is for you! Thanks to the hard work of Tyler Vigen and his ingenious website, “Spurious Correlations”, we get down-right laughable proofs that similar highs and lows in completely different studies aren’t merely a coincidence. The graphs here are so off the wall, so off beat that you will not be able to keep a straight face.

cheese consumption and death by bedsheets graph Correlation and Causation goodkin

Now if you are asking yourself “Why is knowing things so ridiculous such as the fluctuating age average of winning Miss Americas and the nearly identical rate as people being murdered do to steam, hot vapors, and hot objects so important?” you are looking at this way to seriously, and trying to find a connection that is only in the numbers and nothing else. But if you do happen come up with a good theory let me know, it would be hilarious, I’m sure.

People too often look for a deeper meaning, and sometimes is it a waste of your valuable time. Do you really think the connection between the U.S.’s consumption of cheese has anything to do with the number of people that have died due to strangulation of their own bedding? There is no conspiracy or cryptic messages to decode here.

Imagine if in the state of Maine a legal cause for divorce was “Someone in Nebraska bought too much I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter.” I hope your creamy mashed potatoes were with it, home-wrecker!

nicholas cage and death by pool graph Correlation and Causation goodkin

So next time you are out to eat with that overachieving 2nd cousin from out of town or at a party with your better half’s unpleasant friends bring up one of these intriguing topics and enjoy watching them strain their brains looking for the root of the study and the long term effects that this pearl of wisdom will have in their life.

There are many of these comical graphs on many topics making for odd parings. Thanks to their popularity (they are even talked about in psych classes in colleges), Vigen has even publish a special edition book full of them so you can memorize your favorites and entertain family and friends alike.

divorces in maine and butter purchases graph Correlation and Causation goodkin

In short remember these 5 things…

1. People aren’t drowning because of Nicolas Cage.
2. The age of the next Miss America doesn’t in any way affect the odds of you being murdered by a hot object.
3. You eating cheese won’t cause someone to die by becoming tangled in their bedsheets.
4. Your purchases of margarine will not cause the dilution of a nice couple’s marriage in Maine.
5. Correlation does not equal causation.

[via tyler vigen]

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