Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods September 25, 2015 - 10:19am

I feel like writers often google the weirdest things when researching info for books. Thought it'd be a kick to see everyone's weirdest searches! What's the strangest thing you've asked google in service to the pen?

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore September 25, 2015 - 11:12am

We did a podcast episode a few months ago that touched on these things. I'm trying to remember … I did a ton of incest research for my first novel, so I hope the Google police see that these were text searches and not video/image searches, and that they were confined to a specific period, never to be revisited. 

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods September 25, 2015 - 12:16pm

Bahaha, love the coffee mug!

I think the weirdest thing I've ever searched had to do with different methods of blowing a human being to smithereens. Part of it was an image search and it was not pretty.

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore September 25, 2015 - 1:47pm

In the infancy of the Web there was a site called rotten.com and it was dedicated to stuff like that. The really gory, plus like, leaked autopsy photos and shit. I confess visiting a few times per year in my immature 20s.

Other stuff … implants for neutered dogs to remain feeling masculine, several necrophilia case studies (most of which were really sad love stories), the violent water impact on bridge-jumpers' bodies. An hour spent on UrbanDictionary can send you down some pretty dark rabbit holes. It doesn't sound as extreme, but the hardest for me personally were the burn-victim case studies I researched for my second novel.

I suspect the winner of this thread will be something Japanese. heh heh  Sure, that's racist, but they've got the kinkiest of the kinks.

Anna Gutmann's picture
Anna Gutmann from Ohio is reading American Gods September 25, 2015 - 2:25pm

I definitely remember rotten.com! That site was so gross, but once you surfed to it you couldn't look away. It reached its peak popularity in my late teens, I think, and my high school blocked it from access ... but I hacked the passcode to the blocking software so I was the only kid in school who could get to it (*cue evil villain laughter*).

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal September 25, 2015 - 4:38pm

Ohhh this is a good one. God, so many... Researching the smell of a fresh corpse is how I found this site, actually. 

Lately I've been looking into various methods viruses use to reproduce and how DNA replicates. Then there's pictures of various terrible injuries like Gordon's burn victims, or just mangled-ass bones and spider bites...

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami September 26, 2015 - 9:54am

Midieival execution methods. It was for my YA/New Adult novella. I decided on beheading, sense as odd as this sounds was not the worst thing in that time period. The other stuff for sake of human decency I left to the readers imagination: Quartering the king, and for his maker turning the executioner over two years into living armor for replacement parts due to slow cannibalism by vengeful fairies.

Oh yea, it's in there. But if it's still in there despite editing, I might edit it out again for human decency. I needed a punishment that goes beyond quartering for individuals that not only betray midieival royalty, but quarter it. Picture a dark knight, but instead of 'armour' it's gauntlet prosthetics.

In my current stories, I don't have to. My setting is the inarguably real world, if we had talking cats.

Humboldt Lycanthrope's picture
Humboldt Lycanthrope from California is reading Sing, Unburied, Sing September 26, 2015 - 11:18am

Oh, man, do I need one of those coffee mugs.  Let's see, how to preform a transorbital lobotomy would be one. How long it takes one to die when their throat is cut, the answer is twenty minutes.  That's a long time to watch your life run out of you, isn't it? Lots of stuff about the sexual activities of succubus and incubus as well as a lot of research into Satanism and Luciferism and some particularly nasty black metal bands with nazi and fascist leanings.

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break September 26, 2015 - 1:07pm

Blue waffle.

I humbly beg you not to Google that term unless you want to be completely grossed out. I also realize that humbly begging you not to Google that term probably just made you want to do it all the more.

TheScrivener's picture
TheScrivener from Seattle is reading short stories September 26, 2015 - 1:16pm

Wouldn't it matter how your throat was cut? Carotid versus jugular versus just knicking your trachea? We had a gal come in who got shot in her neck, and it would have taken her ages to die from it, and frankly it would probably have been sepsis before the trauma because the bullet just missed anything that mattered. 

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal September 26, 2015 - 7:07pm

Oh, yeah, I forgot all my research into modern torture... Specifically electrocution.

I also became an expert on just how bad sunburns could be for a while.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal September 26, 2015 - 7:10pm

@ Bradon

Are you, by chance, familiar with what two girls can do with one cup?

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break September 26, 2015 - 7:27pm

Yeah, but videos highlighting shit doesn't really bother me. I've seen Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated September 27, 2015 - 7:28am

I work at a cemetery, so I think the oddest stuff I have searched for was for work.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami September 27, 2015 - 9:27am

For something more mundane, what was the early manifestation of wooden clogs. When I was doing a search, it turns out people can't seem to agree when they started, though most dates said the first versions to being made around 1356 when the oldest wooden shoe was found.

This is important if I want to have a certain limited timeline to work my piece within. I don't want to set it to late as the shoes wouldn't exist, I wouldn't want to set it to late as the shoes became out of vogue for steel toed boots. (Yes, believe it or not, most peasants weren't wearing steel toed boots.)

Among other things like this where it's imperative to know the right outfit for the time period.

That's thge biggest thing, knowing the time period really narrows the scope of your research.

dollface993's picture
dollface993 from Detroit is reading As many craft essays as I can find September 30, 2015 - 12:02am



Mideviel witch torture. Mideviel persecution of Jews. Pretty bad stuff. Like pulling a person's intestines out a few inches at a time until the person finally, mercifully dies. Impaling a person, male or female, with a red hot poker- through their genitals. Those are the worst I remember. But I probably blocked a lot out.

Elizabeth85's picture
Elizabeth85 from The United States is reading Jurassic Park October 23, 2015 - 8:22pm

Surreal fashion

bethwenn's picture
bethwenn from Milwaukee is reading The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann November 11, 2015 - 7:40am

I recently had to Google how to make explosives and how to make krokodil for the chapter I'm working on. I felt rather hesitant to do so and was careful about how I phrased my search terms to say the least. My Google search history usually looks a bit insane. These were some highlights about a month ago. The story is as odd as it sounds.

what is it like being a stripper
how to give a lap dance
his breath hangs over our saucestained plates the green fairy’s fang
origins of term cashed bowl
how strong is a black caiman’s bite
how strong of a bite to crush bone
repression defense mechanism
the magic flute queen of the night
siberian prison
domestic abuse in the mafia
new york mafia gay clubs stonewall
gulag camp dust
what is the queen of England’s last name
why cold temperature doesn’t bother wolves
barents sea
what kind of fish in st petersburg
how big is a prison cell
poverty worse in russia or america
what are living conditions in projects new york
bill hicks smokers don’t know when they’re done exhaling
drug withdrawal heroin affects nightmares
how do you have running water on a boat
what are good times day for fishing
how much of ocean have we explored
SIDS
romani amulets talismans
gypsy caravan plans
the firebird tsarevich ivan
wispy definition
catholic saints protect against demons
catholic saints protect against addiction
silent hill origins notes memos
you think i’m psycho don’t you mama
book of enoch grigori
cute owl
latin letters to cyrillic converter
refinery definition
refinement definition
the tin woodsman
russian prison tattoo killer for hire knife
heat stroke
jaupers
japers
jodhpurs
word for shoulder sling someone walk
military headlock
military chokeholds
chokehold military
anaconda chokehold
russian drinking songs
russian blue boy gay word
mozart operas don giovanni english translation
time thought experiment achilles paradox
diseases caused by smoking
airplane cockpit view
gay conversion therapy camps abuse
stretches for retail workers
benign irregular heartbeat
russia’s juvenile justice system

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore November 11, 2015 - 9:26am

I feel a bizarre sort of shame about how well I instantly know you now, like being endowed with a superpower. haha  But I've googled a few of those, too (the bite-pressure one comes to mind). On a lighter note, several of those would make excellent band names!

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal November 11, 2015 - 9:44am

^it was probably the how to do a lapdance search that got you thinking that way.

@bethwenn PM me if you want a decent choke hold story.

L.W. Flouisa's picture
L.W. Flouisa from Tennessee is reading More Murakami November 11, 2015 - 2:52pm

Well I used to often look up morbid facts (bare in mind the gothic hasn't completely left, it's just more subtle now) things like how long does a head stay alive after a guillotining. (30 seconds it turns out, according to this one expert I found when I was seventeen.) Mostly because at the time I was wanting to write a fictional autobiography of a vampire nanny who is caught turning her charges into vampires. So she ends up being punished by beheading.

These days it's more common to look up things like 'how often does a laptop owner fail at installing a distribution of linux.' Of which with the form of this curiosity it naturally varies depending on the technical ability of the end user.

The curiosity about people's failures is still there, just less overt.

Yes that's what I have a hard time grasping, evidently was a pretty weird kid. I was really into werewolves, vampires, evil skull-fairies, and apparently French Revolution guillotines.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. March 19, 2016 - 8:40am

A man getting fucked to death by a horse.  Solarcidal Tendancies.

TheScrivener's picture
TheScrivener from Seattle is reading short stories March 20, 2016 - 8:58pm

Oh then, you've read about my backyard. sweet sweet enumclaw. 

Nick's picture
Nick from Toronto is reading Adjustment Day March 21, 2016 - 7:37pm

Myself.

jenkap's picture
jenkap from London is reading Bad Behaviour March 23, 2016 - 10:32am

I run the really weird searches on incognito mode. So I don't remember :)

SueA9378's picture
SueA9378 from Long Island, New York, USA is reading Always Something New by Indie Authors March 27, 2017 - 4:04pm

Chloraform and then when I realized that wasn't going to work various injectable sedatives. 

ubik 77's picture
ubik 77 from Detroit is reading Snuff: Real Death and Screen Media March 29, 2017 - 4:40pm

Several. All the time. Here are a few:

 

Do chickens dream? (Yes, they do.) About what?

Was mathematics invented or discovered? (This is hotly debated.)

Everything possible about unicorns. (They sold narwhal tusks to kings and told them they were from unicorns.)

How could soundwaves, hypothetically, be intermingled with physical parasites like screwworm larva to function as a unit?

Jay North.

 

p.s. And a whole bunch of stuff not fit for posting about.

 

SueA9378's picture
SueA9378 from Long Island, New York, USA is reading Always Something New by Indie Authors March 30, 2017 - 6:05am

@ubik, p.s. And a whole bunch of stuff not fit for posting about. Yes, that too! 

ubik 77's picture
ubik 77 from Detroit is reading Snuff: Real Death and Screen Media March 30, 2017 - 8:24am

@SueA9378: Yes, I've had to plumb the depths of internet research. Much of it on the dark web. Nothing illegal, just text, but the text about the videos was awful, trust me. 

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal March 31, 2017 - 10:46am

@ubik

fuck that, everythign is worth posting. writers are anti-censorship. let's hear it!

ubik 77's picture
ubik 77 from Detroit is reading Snuff: Real Death and Screen Media March 31, 2017 - 2:15pm

@Thuggish:

Peter Scully and Daisy's Destruction and No Limits Fun

Blue Whale Suicide Game

Sad Satan dark web game

The Worst Gang Rapes Ever (YouTube)

When an adult rapes an infant, don't the insides tear and kill the baby?

 

p.s. And a bunch of other stuff in that vein. Particularly medical. Such as: when someone cuts off a person's arm, how long does it take for them to bleed out? How many gallons of blood does a human body contain? etc.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal March 31, 2017 - 6:08pm

whoa, never heard of the blue whale thing before.

how about a blue waffle suicide game? because that might drive me to it...

i hear sad satan uploads a keytracker to your computer, fyi.

ubik 77's picture
ubik 77 from Detroit is reading Snuff: Real Death and Screen Media March 31, 2017 - 10:10pm

@Thuggish --- there's a "clean" version of Sad Satan on the clear web. i've never looked for the original "dirty" version, nor do i care to. 

and "blue waffle suicide" sounds like a band.