1. Many geologists think about rocks, minerals, fossils and their PhD thesis (me) while laying in bed at night. This is pretty strange behaviour since the rest of the population thinks about normal but way less interesting thins such as sports, politics, you name it, only geologists think about rocks.
2. Geologists suck at navigating in cities, but can always find their way in the bush. For example, two of our friends were coming over and while they have lived in Ottawa for a combined 7 years they ended up completely lost and on the wrong street. When we asked how the hell did you get lost they said "we knew it was in the 300's and we just though we'd feel it out when we got close". Indeed they did get close just on the wrong street, which in the city is terrible navigating. However, you put these two in the bush and they can navigate their way to the only outcrop for miles through dense undergrowth and led only by their "feelings".
3. Geologists tell really bad puns and make a LOT of dirty geologist jokes. Honestly, the list of dirty geologist jokes has to be miles long by now. All you have to do is find any pub on any given night in any given city and you will likely see a few wearing a stupid shirt that says something like: "Geologists make the bed rock", "Are you (Mg,
5. Geologists dress weird. See my previous post on geologist stereotypes for a full description. Another example would be any number of eminent geologists who could be mistaken for homeless men due to their long brown/black/white hair and beards, torn field clothes that they wear to work every day and, of course, hiking boots.
6. Geologists actually want to get coal in their stocking for Christmas or any other rock. When I was a tiny geology enthusiast and rockhounder I would always ask my parents for new samples to add to my collection at Christmas. Another good example of this is that the child geologist will save all his or her allowance money to spend it on rocks and minerals when they go to a show. Normal kids buy CD's, clothes, toys, etc. Indeed, this is why I have horrible knowledge of pop music from my own generation, but a massive mineral and fossil collection.
7. Speaking of rock shows...when geologists say "rock show" they don't mean music. This actually happened to me. The annual Ottawa gem and mineral show was going on one weekend and I asked my new housemate, Chris, if he wanted to go to a rock show on the weekend with me. His response was "Hell yes". A few days later on the Saturday of the show Chris asked me if "shouldn't we go get some booze so we can pre-drink before the show". I gave him a confused look and then explained to him the true meaning of rock shows. We then went to the show where I got some great samples for our shared living room.
8. Geologists are annoying to drive behind. As a geologist I know that when I travel on highways in the Canadian Shield I am annoying to drive behind because of my erratic speed. Whenever I pass a roadcut I am compelled to have a closer look and that means slowing down and possibly even pulling over if it looks really promising. However, this must be really irritating to people driving behind me since roads in the Canadian Shield are almost all outcrop and my pattern of slowing down then speeding up as soon as I pass is must drive them crazy. So here is a sorry to them from me and all other geologists like me.
9. Geologists think that a good rock hammer can be used in any situation. For example, a rock hammer makes a great nut opener/crusher. I have used mine many times to crush nuts and seeds for recipes since I don't own a food processor. All you have to do wrap the hammer in saran wrap and go to town. It works like a charm and is great fun. It also helps keep my aim sharp in the winter when there are no rocks outside to practice on.
10. The final oddity in my list, and believe me there are a lot more than 10, is that geologists love to be in harsh, remote places. To many in the general population camping involves driving to your site, making a campfire in the little metal thingy and cooking dinner. This can be fun, especially with lots of beer on hand, however, geologists want more. To a geologist the more remote the better. If my field site is fly-in only, hundreds of kilometers from the nearest outpost of civilization I am happy, as long as there is still beer that is. The other odd thing that goes along with this is that geologists are competitive with one another about how remote their field work is. It is not uncommon to hear lines at the bar that go as follows:
Geologist A: "Just got back from the field and boy was it ever a great trip! My beer ration was huge. We were working about 100km north of the Arctic Circle drilling ice cores. The camp was only accessible in the winter by snow mobile then we transferred to dog sled at Eagle Plains."
Geologist B: "Wow! That sounds like a great trip! I just got back from my field season as well. My work was prospecting for new kimberlite pipes on Herman Melleville Island. We had to get helicoptered onto the island and then walk 300 km north. Hell, I must have been a good 1000km north of the Arctic Circle."
Geologist A: "Oh yeah, well my cephalopod is longer."
I hope that you enjoyed my little top 10 list of geologist weirdness. If you have any other examples of geologist's being strange I would love to hear them so please comment!!