Goosed By A Skeleton - QI Series 8 Episode 2 H Anatomy Preview - BBC One

Goosed By A Skeleton - QI Series 8 Episode 2 H Anatomy Preview - BBC One

Episode 2 from the H Series.With Sue Perkins, Bill Bailey and Gyles Brandreth.


  • Palmistry has never been proven, that your hands cannot tell the future (forfeit), but the ridges of your hand can tell you about your health, i.e.: your past. Francis Galton discovered the ridges, and decades later Down's syndrome was discovered to show signs on the palms, and by the 1920s, more than 20 illnesses and conditions have been shown on the palms.
  • Marcel Proust had a limp handshake, as the panel associated with homosexuality. Marcel was not outed as a homosexual, and even visited brothels to try to convert himself. He deliberately kept a limp handshake as a double-bluff to assert his appearance as straight. Handshakes are said to reveal personality.
  • Trepanning or the drilling of a hole to the head, was performed in Papua New Guinea, with more success than if performed in Europe, due to blood infections from less sanitary surgeries in Europe (forfeit: Just Here - Alan points to the top of his head when asked where would be the best place for trepanning). In New Guinea, they made the incision with found objects, like a sharp stone, and sterilized the wound with coconut milk afterwards. European hospitals of the 19th Century were rife with infection, and the exposed area, though operated on with more sophisticated methods, was more prone to infection and had only a 20% chance of survival. Open brain surgery occurs consciously sometimes so you know where you are operating, and what systems you are interfering with.
  • Authentic shrunken heads come from Ecuador and were made by the Shuar tribe. All the skin must be removed as a single piece, the skin must be scraped out, the lips must be bound and the eyes stitched, filled with stones and boiled, then smoked. This was an aggressive gesture. The tribe was notoriously fierce, having in 1599, poured molten gold down a Spanish governor's throat until his bowels burst, a repayment for his greed for gold. The tribe is also known for arrows dipped in Curare.
  • When asked to draw the Queen's face on a blank coin, all the panellists believe she was (forfeit) facing left. She has always faced right, though she faces left on the stamp. Images of each monarch will alternate between facing left and right when appearing on a coin, so the Queen's father George VI had a left facing coin, and presumably Prince Charles will. This has happened ever since Charles II. It is allegedly to do with right handedness, a natural presumption of a profile.

General IgnoranceEdit

  • If you have a nosebleed you should not (forfeit) tilt back, since the blood could return through the canals in the eyes, or down your throat to the lungs. A common cause for the nosebleed is being punched in the face, or blowing your nose too hard. It should resolve itself after a few minutes, but if longer than 20, it is advised to seek medical help.
  • It is impossible to swallow your tongue. The fear is the tongue may block your airway, but it is impossible for it to go down your throat.
  • Cracking knuckles does not cause arthritis. A science experiment was performed over 60 years where one hand had cracked knuckles, the other didn't. Both hands were examined and seemed equal for the potential for arthritis; cracking caused no noticeable damage.

QI XL ExtrasEdit

  • Famous people who experienced trepanning include Prince Rupert (nephew of Charles I) and Prince Philip of Nassau. In 1591 alone the latter prince had himself drilled into 27 times, but lived. He later went on to win a drinking competition against someone who died from alcohol-induced shock.
  • Imagery involving a decapitated saint brings to question where the halo should appear, suggesting the body or the head, or both. Saint Denis was represented in art with a glowing area above his neck and a halo at his head. Pope Gregory the Great was represented in some images with a squared halo, which was used for people who were still alive (and therefore not yet beatified) at the time of the painting.
  • When you comb a ball covered with fur, it proves impossible to do it smoothly; it requires a bit of a twirl at the top of the head "the crown", otherwise it will have a cow lick. This can be proven mathematically using the Euler characteristic and other mathematical concepts. Most men have a clockwise pattern in their hair, only 8% men have it anti-clockwise, but 30% of gay men do, potentially being a physiological indicator of sexuality.
  • The hula hoop boomed in 1958. That year it was a massive craze, and it disappeared as fast as it came. It failed to make any money, since the companies had stockpiles still waiting to be sold when the demand vanished. There was a thought that it was brought around by a fad surrounding Elvis and his swivelling hips. There was a similar fad in the 1990s in China, but also public panic, since a few children were entered in hospital due to "twisted intestines", though that was unlikely to have been caused by the hula hoop.



- Each of the panel have a "Hoax card". If the panel think they have spotted something they have been told which is false they can play their hoax card for bonus points. If they get it wrong they lose points.
- One of the buzzers is a hoax, because all of them make the noise of a deer mating call except one. It is Alan's buzzer which makes the sound of a Scotsman saying "Hello, dear".


- The panel are shown a picture of three men and are asked what they were up to last night. They were in fact made a crop circle in Wiltshire shaped like the QI logo. However, within half-an-hour of the dawn rising people were ringing up asking whether "it was real or man-made" because many people still think crop circles are due to alien activity. People who believe crop circles are because of alien activity are called "cerealogists". Crop circles began in the 1970s with Doug Bower and David Chorley. They are made using a plank with a rope through it called a "stalk stomper".
- Hoax Card: Danny plays his card at the wrong time.
- XL Tangent: Another hoax you can see from the air is the lines in the Nazca Desert which are claimed to be runways for alien spacecraft. The most famous person to claim this is Erich von Däniken, author of Chariots of the Gods?. Carl Sagan claimed in response that if aliens used vastly superior spacecraft to ours, why would they need a runway? The Nazca Desert is one of the driest places on the planet. However, the lines were damaged due to people coming to see them after Däniken's book was published. Some of the lines are only 10cm deep and only survive because there is so little rain. People are now banned from going there.
- XL Tangent: After corn, the biggest crop in the USA is marijuana. Meanwhile, cauliflowers are in decline in Britain. The crop has been reduced from 33,000 acres to 28,000 acres. Mashed cauliflowers are low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes.
- For every argument there is with regards to the Moon landing being faked, there is a perfectly logical argument to prove that it did happen. For example:
- The idea of there being weather in the studio because of the way the flag moves. In fact, the flag was rumpled because of movement, and if you move something with little resistance it will not stop moving for a long time.
- The idea that one of the astronauts is not holding a camera because of the reflection in the visors. All the cameras were actually mounted in the suits so they did not need to hold one.
- The idea that below the lunar module that there was no crater or dust spread. The engines were actually cut of below it landed, it hovered down and it landed quickly. Unlike in sci-fi films, the module does not send out spears of flame as it lands.
- The idea that the footprints are too clear due to moisture. You can create footprints just like them with flour. The ground just has to be very fine.
- Also, astronauts from Apollo 12 put mirrors on the Moon which allow people on Earth to give very accurate readings about how far away the Moon is.
- Lastly, the Americans "Space Race" rivals, the Soviet Union, never once claimed that the Moon landing was faked.
- Tangent: Alan once did an advert with Patrick Moore and Alan asked if people really did land on the Moon. Moore was furious with him, explaining that he helped NASA map the Moon, spent years on the project, helped pick the landing site, and if Alan ever spoke to him again he would be sick in Alan eyes.
- Tangent: Buzz Aldrin got so annoyed with Moon landing conspiracy theorists that he punched one for asking too many questions.
- Tangent: 6% of Americans believe the Moon landing was faked. However, 25% of Britons believe it was faked.
- XL Tangent: 400,000 people were employed to work on the Moon landing, including the 12 astronauts who landed on it.
- You can make your house the most famous in Britain by ringing up as many businesses as you can and get them all to come on the same day. This was done as a bet in 1810 between Samuel Beasley and Theodore Hook that Hook could not any house in London the most famous residence in the city within a week. Actually, Hook prepared over six days and it all happened on the final day. What he did was contact as many businesses as he could to arrived at one house, 54 Berners Street, unbeknown to the resident of the house, Mrs. Tottenham. 4,000 different tradesmen and services came to the house. These included 12 chimney sweeps that arrived first thing in the morning, then 12 coal carts, followed by cake makers, doctors, apothecaries, surgeons, lawyers, priests, undergraduates, hat makers, haberdashers, boot makers, fishmongers and butcher's boys. A dozen pianos were delivered and the governor of the Bank of England came to see the commotion.
- XL Tangent: During the Regency period there we many strange bets on which huge sums of money were gambled. Clubs such as Brooks's and White's had such bets. For example, there was a £3,000 bet between Lord Alvanley and a friend of his on raindrops. In comparison, a servant cost around £10 a year.
- The Nobel Prize winning biologist Stephen Jay Gould concluded after a lifetime's studying of fish that there is no such thing as a fish. He reasoned that while there are many things that live in the sea, most of them are not related to each other. For example, a salmon is more closely related to a camel than to a hagfish. A similar argument is that there are lots of things that fly like bees, vultures and flying lizards, but they are not all insects, birds or reptiles.
- Tangent: Starfish do not have brains.
- XL Tangent: Elasmobranches are a subclass of animal which includes sharks, rays and skates.
- XL: The panel are shown a picture and are asked how many fish are in it. The answer is one. It looks like two, but the other "fish" is muscle from a shell below it. They explode, eject larvae which are breathed through the fishes gills, and they are spread. (Forfeit: There's no such thing as a fish)
- The only thing we know for certain that Nostradamus got right was his recipe for cherry jam. Apart from his predictions, Nostradamus (born Michel de Nostradame, 1503-1566) was also an apothecary and read lots of books, including one about jam. He wrote a recipe for cherry jam and it is known to be just as good today as it was back then. He also attempted to make aphrodisiac jams.
- Hoax Card: Alan and Sean play their cards wrongly.
- The most famous person ever to have been beaten at chess by a machine was Napoleon Bonaparte. While Garry Kasparov is the most famous chess grandmaster to lose to a computer (Deep Blue), Napoleon lost to the Mechanical Turk, an automaton. However, it was a hoax. The doors would first be opened to show it was empty, but then a chess master would sneak inside and control the machine. Benjamin Franklin and Charles Babbage also lost to it as well. The Mechanical Turk was destroyed by fire in 1854.
- XL Tangent: In 1989 American magic trick maker John Gaughan made a working replica of the Mechanical Turk costing $120,000. The maker of the original Mechanical Turk was Wolfgang von Kempelen (1734-1804) who did to impress Empress Maria Theresa.
- XL: The best way to make a squad of American soldiers panic in a plane is to make them think it is crashing. For example, you can get the pilot to cut off one of the engines. To show how disturbed the soldiers are, you then give them forms to fill in, for example asking who to leave their money to after they die. The soldiers just wrote rubbish. This was done to see how people react under stress.
- XL Hoax Card: David plays his hoax card wrongly.
- XL: A human being can lick their own elbow. Danny originally claimed in Series A that it is impossible to lick your own elbow, and that there was an old folklore saying that if you can do that you would live forever. However, a member of the audience demonstrates that she can lick her own elbow, proving Danny wrong. (Forfeit: It's impossible to lick your elbow)

General IgnoranceEdit

- You can tell someone is lying by how they talk. You cannot tell by the way they move, sweat, rolling their eyes etc. but you can by the way they speak. A test with over 20,000 subjects being shown videos of people lying and telling the truth found that people performed no better than chance, including so-called experts such as polygraph operators, police investigators, judges and psychiatrists. However, people are more accurate on sound alone, as it is done at 73% accuracy. (Forfeit: It's in the eyes)
- Tangent: One Dr. Ekman claims that 50 out of 20,000 can tell if people are lying just by looking at them. He calls them "Truth wizards".
- Most oranges are not orange, but green. They are "de-greened" by supermarkets because shoppers prefer to see them as orange coloured. The word "orange" comes from the word "Naranja" which comes from Sanskrit. In English it lost the "n" and it became "an orange". Other words similar to this are "adder" which was "a nadre", "apron" was "napron" and "nickname" was an "ick name". (Forfeit: They're orange)
- XL Tangent: Sean worked in an orange grove in an Israeli kibbutz and he claims that the oranges grown there were orange coloured. Sean got the sack for sleeping on the job when he was meant to be working on irrigation pipes.
- Swimming pools smell of chloramines which are formed by sweat, urine and faecal matter. To get rid of it, you add chlorine which does not smell of anything. (Forfeit: Chlorine)
- Hoax Card: Stephen reveals that the hoax cards where themselves the hoax. All the questions were true and the panel were tricked into using them.


- Gyles Brandreth and Sue Perkins: -8 points
- Bill Bailey: -12 points
- Alan Davies: -25 points


Wolf, Ian "QI -Episode guides: Series H: Episode 2" British Comedy Guide Retrieved 17th June 2013

? "QI Series H" Wikipedia Retrieved 17th June 2013

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