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anomaly

An anomaly is an irregular or unusual event which does not fit a standard rule or law. For example, a frog when dropped should move through the air towards the ground, according to the law of gravity. If the frog were to remain suspended in mid-air, such levitation would be an anomaly. If it were discovered, however, that the frog was being suspended in mid-air by electromagnetic devices, the anomaly would dissolve.

Anything weird, abnormal, strange, odd, or difficult to classify is considered an anomaly.

In science, an anomaly is something which cannot be explained by currently accepted scientific theories. Sometimes the new phenomenon leads to new rules or theories, e.g., the discovery of x-rays and radiation.

See also Charles Fort, face on Mars, and Piltdown hoax.


further reading

books

Neher, Andrew. The Psychology of Transcendence  (Prentice-Hall 1980).

Reed, Graham. The Psychology of Anomalous Experience : A Cognitive Approach (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1988).

Zusne, Leonard & Warren Jones. Anomalistic Psychology: A Study of Magical Thinking (Lawrence Erlbaum Association, 1990).

websites

Science Frontiers - reports on scientific anomalies

Strange Magazine - reports on strange phenomena

Anomalies - database of the paranormal

Weird Research - Anomalous Physics

Society for Scientific Exploration

The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research

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