Christmas just wouldn't be the same for lovers of science without the annual Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The tradition began in 1982, originally as a one-off attempt to bring a bit of levity to the journal for the holidays. While the papers selected for inclusion evinced a quirky sense of humor, they were also peer-reviewed and scientifically rigorous.
Some of the more notable offerings over the last 37 years included the side effects of sword-swallowing; a thermal imaging study on reindeer offering a possible explanation for why Rudolph's nose was so red; and an analysis of the superior antioxidant properties of martinis that are shaken, not stirred. (Conclusion: "007's profound state of health may be due, at least in part, to compliant bartenders.")
But by far the most widely read Christmas issue paper was a 1999 study that produced the very first MRI images of a human couple having sex. In so doing, the researchers busted a couple of long-standing myths about the anatomical peculiarities of the male and female sexual organs during sex. Naturally, the study was a shoo-in for the 2000 Ig Nobel Prize for Medicine.
Source: Ars Technica