The Sense About Science charity would like you to know that the ocean is not salty because "the water is full of whale sperm." Such was the dubious claim made earlier this year by "Jersey Shore" star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi. The 24-year-old is one of several profiled in the sixth annual "Celebrities and Science" review published by SAS.
"So there really is no excuse for celebrities promulgating misleading claims. While it gives us a good reason to talk about sound science on subjects like oceans and diets, sadly our publications don't go nearly so far so fast as a comment by an A-list actress."
That A-lister referenced is Gwyneth Paltrow, who was taken to task for comments made earlier this year regarding a detox plan. “I have gooped about Dr Alejandro Junger’s Clean program before because it gave me such spectacular results," she wrote. "It is really just the thing if you are in need of a good detox – wanting some mental clarity and to drop a few pounds..."
According to Dr. Christian Jessen, we already have everything we need to properly detox - no fancy techniques required. "We all try to start the New Year with good intentions for a healthy lifestyle, but a detox plan isn’t your answer if you really want to feel better," he writes. "Your body has its own fantastic detox system already in place in the shape of your liver and kidneys. Much better to drink plenty of water, eat a balanced diet, get plenty of sleep, and let your body do what it does best!"
Other celebs making the list include Pippa Middleton (for saying cold water gives you glossy hair - it doesn't), actress Juliette Lewis (for claiming coconut water is more hydrating that sports drinks - nope), and Simon Cowell (for saying his drip-fed intravenous cocktail of vitamins C, B12 and magnesium makes him feel and look younger - again, no.).
Check out the full list of celebrity pseudoscience claims by hitting the SAS report here.
Oh - and about Snooki's whale sperm gaffe; oceanographer Dr. Simon Boxall would like to set the record straight.
"It would take a lot of whale sperm to make the sea that salty!," he writes. "The salt in the sea comes from many millions of years of water flowing over rocks and minerals. It slowly dissolves them leading to the ‘salty’ nature of the seas – it’s not just salt but every material on the planet including gold. Salt water actually keeps our oceans free from many human pathogens (microorganisms that cause disease) – so why not give the beach another try and get back in the water?"