Starting sometime in the 1950s, when female contraception was virtually nonexistent, legend has it some inventive women would shake a bottle of Coca-Cola and open it into themselves after having to prevent pregnancy. While this seems as effective a contraception method as standing on one's head is to getting pregnant, a Boston ob-gyn professor put the soft drink to the test in the early '80s and found it does indeed kill some sperm.
Taiwanese doctors who replicated Dr. Deborah Anderson's 1985 findings determined Coca-Cola is not an effective contraceptive, but both findings found that Diet Coke is a more potent spermicide than regular Coke, which is more effective than "New" Coke. And, Nigerians in the '90s discovered that Krest, a Coca-Cola-produced lemon drink produced in Malta, kills more sperm than any of the others.
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Now, with all that said, the average amount of sperm that soda could "immobilize" is around 3o percent. Actual spermicide, when used correctly, has an 85% success rate, according to Planned Parenthood. No one is actually advocating soda pop as a means of birth control.
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Regardless, last night Anderson and nine others won an Ig Nobel Prize, given to those who have conducted "research that makes people laugh and then think." University of New Mexico researchers who determined that strippers earn more money during times of peak fertility also received a prize, given out annually by actual Nobel laureates at Harvard University.
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