Recently I performed a thoroughly unscientific science experiment and presented it at a science fair/birthday party event that was full of amazing performance art pieces, some of which were more or less scientific than others.
For your edification, I have recorded my findings and am presenting them here, should they prove interesting or useful to a broader audience.
The Effects of the Diet and Auditory Stimulus of Stereotyped Human Subcultures on the Growth Rate of Acheta Domestica Over a Twelve Day period
Acheta Domestica, or common house crickets, were collected at nymph-stage, separated into five groups, and given diet and auditory stimulus according to each group’s assigned human subculture’s stereotyped feeding and listening tendencies to assess the effect of these behaviors on their growth rates. Acheta Domestica have not been observed to be similar to humans in growth rate, biology, reproductive capacity, or any other significant manner other than their status as carbon-based life forms. Acheta Domestica has not been observed to cluster into social groups or respond to musical performances other than their own stridulation.
While any resulting data would require retesting for verification given the multiple unrelated variables simultaneously introduced to each group, as well as the generally non-sterile nature of my “lab”, I expect there to be measurable differences in the growth rates of the groups of crickets. I expect that the auditory stimulus will have little to no effect on the growth rates, but that groups given higher-calorie diets should expect to have a higher growth rate. Groups with the highest calorie diets will likely be groups D, C, and E.
Crickets were separated into groups A, B, C, D, and E. Each group contained a similar number of crickets. Each group’s length and width was recorded in millimeters, and the growth rates were decided by the difference in group averages between day one of the experiment and day twelve.
Group A was assigned the human subculture “boring white people”. They were given only white bread to eat, and made to listen to top 40 streaming radio stations, including commercials.
Group B was assigned the human subculture “hippies”. They were given whole grain oats, organic vegetables, and made to listen to Bob Dylan songs.
Group C was assigned the human subculture “punk”. Their diet was restricted to randomly chosen garbage, and they were made to listen to the Dead Kennedy’s.
Group D was assigned the human subculture “goth”. Their diet consisted entirely of human blood (mine, type B+), and they were made to listen to Marilyn Manson.
Group E was assigned the human subculture “ravers”. Their diet consisted of candy and chocolate and they were made to listen to Aqua.
The “boring white people” group started with an average width of 3.79mm and an average length of 8.47mm. The boring white people turned to cannibalism of their dead within 24 hours. Within 72 hours, they were observed cannibalizing their living group members that seemed weak or ill. Several crickets were observed attempting to drag themselves away from other group members as their lower bodies were being devoured. No cannibalism was observed in other groups. At the end of the twelve day period, group A had shown a growth rate that was near average compared to other groups. Their average width became 4.5mm and their average length became 10.25mm, for an average growth of 1.78mm in length and 0.71mm in width.
The “hippi” group also showed an average rate of growth. Nothing alarming or unexpected was observed from this group. Their average starting width was 3.7mm and their average starting length was 8.5mm. Their average ending width was 4mm and their average ending length was 10.5mm. Their growth averaged 2mm in length and 0.3mm in width.
The “punk” group lost a number of it’s members in an unexpected mold outbreak, but still managed to maintain the highest rate of growth in length, and the second highest rate of growth in width. Their starting lengths averaged 9.35mm and their starting widths averaged 3.82mm. Their ending lengths averaged 12.67mm and their ending widths averaged 5mm. They average a growth of 3.32mm in length and 1.18mm in width.
The “goth” group was very enthusiastic about their diet. They fed more often and for longer periods than other groups. They averaged the highest rate of growth in width and the second highest rate of growth in length. Their average starting length was 10mm and their average starting width was 4mm. Their average ending length was 12.5mm and their average ending width was 5.25mm. They grew an average of 2.5mm in length and 1.25mm in width.
Group E was the “raver” group. This group actually lost mass. They gained very slightly in length and, on average, lost width. They had the highest number of surviving group members by the end of the experiment run. They were the only group to show an observable reaction to their auditory stimulus, but their reactions to every kind of stimulus were more notable. They seemed to move faster and more often than crickets of other groups, particularly when their container was touched or breathed on. Their average starting length was 8.84mm and their average starting width was 3.84mm. Their average ending length was 10mm and their average ending width was 3.6mm. On average, this group gained 1.16mm in length and -0.24mm in width.
All groups have now been integrated into retirement condominiums. No further cannibalization has been observed.