In 2006 Dutch scientist Bart Knols observed that malaria-carrying mosquitoes are attracted to smelly human feet, convincing fellow scientist Renate Smallegange’s to follow in his smelly footsteps devising mosquito traps using human foot odour. Knols figured out that when standing up, mosquitoes would go for people’s feet, prompting Smallegange to zoom in on this discovery. At Wageningen University she collects people’s smelly socks to carry out research on trapping mosquitoes who transmit malaria through their bite, affecting millions of people every year.
According to this radio interview, carbon dioxide is what first attracts mosquitoes to people, however since 2006, we also know that smelly feet do that as well. She explains that clean socks are not attractive at all to mosquitoes, smelly socks are very attractive, but when you add carbon dioxide, you could trap roughly 45 to 75% of all malaria-carrying mosquitoes. And the sock only needs to be worn for a day!
No, foot odour doesn’t work on ‘regular’ mosquitoes, and yes, the idea is to design traps with a specific built-in odour, not some African villager’s dirty socks or shipping socks over to Africa.
(Link: www.improbable.com, Image by A.E. Goeldi, in the public domain)
Tags: feet, malaria, mosquitoes, smell, socks, Wageningen University
A man got arrested last Sunday after he kept his socks on for sex. The prostitute at the Doubletstraat in The Hague whose services he was availing himself of thought his behaviour was strange and asked him about it—she thought maybe he had cold feet. The man admitted that he was carrying a valuable load of drugs in his socks, and even offered to sell some of it to his supplier of sex. Instead the woman called out to two police officers who were passing through the street and who in turn arrested the man and discovered that indeed, he had hidden “229 drug balls, 32 pony packs cocaine and 2 bags of marijuana” in his socks, according to the Telegraaf (Dutch).
Photo by Lauren Weinhold, some rights reserved. Boy is there a lot of sock porn on Flickr.
Tags: drugs, prostitution, socks
Photo: Bob the Builder
Have you seen this man?
A tiny village in Groningen called ‘t Zand has been plagued by a pyromaniac since August this year. Recently, the police revealed that the arsonist had used a Bob the Builder sock during a failed attempt: they believe the sock was placed in such a way that it should lead the fire to other inflammable material. The fire petered out before it could reach that otherwise unspecified material, according to daily Dagblad van het Noorden (Dutch). The police know that the sock was made in 1993, and sold in the Netherlands, but they would like you to contact them if you have any further information about the alleged sock.
Tags: arson, Bob the Builder, Groningen, pyromanics, socks, toys