Scientific bad luck

and being honest about it - 8 july 2008

In 1933 a mister Copenhagen was stationed in Cape Town doing a bit of crawfish research. Naturally he wanted to have some of his life specimen shipped back to London but alas, the weather was bad, the ship's engine broke down, the weather was bad again, damaging the holding tank, washing overboard some of the crawfish and injuring the remaining ones causing their premature death. In a letter to the journal Nature (DOI) Copenhagen laments that is was highly probable that the specimens would have survived a considerably longer period if it had not been for misadventure .

Also see part 1 of bad luck in science (and being honest about it).