Cracked is as Cracked does. Especially in this case, where some researchers do some especially cracked things. Or more precisely, things they only could have thought of after being cracked on the head.
Librarian researchers, don't try this at your library!
5. Thor Heyerdahl Crosses the Pacific Ocean on a Raft
On the 101st day, they made it. The "boat" hit a reef in French Polynesia and beached on an uninhabited island. But it didn't prove his point; even though Heyerdahl had proved that the journey was possible, no one believed that this was actually how Polynesia was populated. Science basically patted him on the head for trying his best and told him to run along. Only recently has DNA testing revealed that there was definitely some DNA swapping between Polynesians and South Americans before Europeans made it to the islands in 1722, so everyone would decide that he was at least partially right, decades later. Totally worth it.
4. Alain Bombard Shipwrecks Himself on Purpose
3. Graham Hoyland Climbs Mount Everest With No Modern Gear
2. Tom Avery Sleds to the North Pole Using 1909 Methods
1. Well, you'll just have to click over to find out for yourself...
What's your favourite badass thing done in the name of research -- especially badass things you've done yourself!?