Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2002]
Taken from a Science Journal, Jan '01
What we can all look forward to on our commute home this evening (particularly given we won't be on the train)! If you are a regular traveller on the London Underground, here are some facts which you are going to wish you hadn't read. During Autumn of 2000, a team of scientists at the Department of Forensics at University College London removed a row of passenger seats from a Central Line tube carriage for analysis into cleanliness. Despite London Underground's claim that the interior of their trains are cleaned on a regular basis, the scientists made some alarming discoveries.
The analysis was broken down. This is what was found on the surface of the seats:
4 types of hair sample (human, mouse, rat, dog)
7 types of insect (mostly fleas, mostly alive)
Vomit originating from at least 9 separate people
Human urine originating from at least 4 separate people
When the seats were taken apart, they found:
The remains of 6 mice
The remains of 2 large rats
1 previously unheard of fungus
It is estimated that by holding one of the armrests, you are transferring, to your body, the natural oils and sweat from as many as
It is estimated that it is generally healthier to smoke five cigarettes a day than to travel for one hour a day on the London Underground.
It is far more hygienic to wipe your hand on the inside of a recently flushed toilet bowl before eating, than to wipe your hand on a London Underground seat before eating.
It is estimated that, within London, more work sick-days are taken because of bugs picked up whilst travelling on the London Underground than for any other reason (including alcohol).
Origins: The article in question began making its Internet rounds in late January 2002. In a nutshell, it's a crock
There is a University College London, but it does not have a Department of Forensics, as this list of its departments shows. The name of a real college was used to impart an aura of credibility to this hoax.
All fakery aside, however, scientists from a number of British universities have been involved in studies involving the breathability of the air found in the London Underground. Concerns over higher-than-average concentrations of iron oxide and quartz particles have been raised. Some have likened a
Air quality appears to be a valid issue, but all the rest of the claims made in the hoax
Barbara "london abridged" Mikkelson
| 'Study' E-mail Is a Hoax |
(London Underground Limited)
Gruner, Peter. "40 Minutes on Tube Is Same as Two Cigarettes." The [London] Evening Standard. 11 October 2001 (p. 17). Winstanley, Andrew. "Is a Tube Journey a Health Risk?" BBCi. 1 October 2001. Sydney Morning Herald. "Column 8: Another Crazy Email." 1 February 2002.