For years scientists thought they knew what caused the hole in the ozone layer but now it appears they could have been wrong.
It may have been "arseholes" that were responsible for the problem.
That was the answer given by one university student in an exam paper, according to his tutor, who suggested the befuddled scholar may have been thinking of "aerosols".
And historians may be questioning all they know about Hitler's role in World War II after one student reliably revealed the dictator's role in the conflict "is often overlooked".
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These are among the bloopers submitted by university lecturers to the Times Higher Education magazine's annual exam howlers competition.
The entries reveal how university students have been left flummoxed in the exam hall or caught out by spelling mistakes.
One of Ulster University lecturer John Milliken's students in a paper on vehicle emissions, suggested that "In future all cars (will) be fitted with Catholic converters".
Britta Osthaus, lecturer in psychology at Canterbury Christ Church University, who teaches a course on the mental capacities of animals, said she was surprised to read "octopuses are intelligent because they have been found to be able to predict the winners of football matches during the World Cup". This may have been a reference to Paul the Octopus, the cephalopod said to have "predicted" results in the 2010 World Cup.
History also proved tricky for a student writing about London's social scene in the 18th century and the creation of the Spectator publication in 1711. He suggested: "Within these coffeehouses, men from all different parts of the world could interfere with each other".