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I saw a strange sign on a door to a geophysics lab in a museum in Switzerland. I was really curious about what it means and wanted to know if anyone is familiar with this sign.

enter image description here

Here's the full image of the door so you can see the context/type of work going on in the lab.

enter image description here

  • 3
    Somebody doesn’t like Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle I guess... – Jon Custer Feb 28 at 20:15
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    @cag51 I'm pretty sure they're warnings against pacemakers and joint replacements, due to the strong magnetic fields. – jakebeal Feb 28 at 20:19
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    @cag51 The heart is no pace makers and the middle one is no medical implants. – StrongBad Feb 28 at 20:19
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    I thought the middle one was depicting a hearing aid inside an ear canal, but upon further inspection it does appear to be a hip joint. – Nuclear Wang Feb 28 at 20:25
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    How about the topmost sign? "Caution! Cocktail shaker in use?" – Solomon Slow Mar 1 at 18:43
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I notice that the sign:

  • Doesn't quite match the other signs for scale or style
  • Isn't obvious in what it's communicating (unlike normal warning signs)
  • Looks like a monster (apparently "We Must All Stop ManBearPig" from South Park):
            .

I conclude that it's a joke by the museum staff, much like this "velociraptor-free workplace" sign at the Field Museum in Chicago.

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    I didn't know what is the concept behind this? it seems scary and I don't think it is a joke and if joke what does it mean? Is that customary logo at geology? – user103209 Feb 28 at 22:52
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    @Monkia: ManBearPig is from the American animated comedy TV show South Park. It's clearly a joke. Probably someone who works in the lab is a fan of the show. It could be a joke with some deeper meaning, since the ManBearPig character was meant as an allegory for climate change, but it's hard to guess what exactly the person who put up the sign might have had in mind. It certainly isn't anything that's generally "customary" in geology or any other academic field. – Nate Eldredge Feb 28 at 23:49
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    @Monkia you won’t necessarily get the joke as it may be “lab” specific ie if most if the lab workers watch that show they may have had a conversation or several about it and that is an “in-house” reference to a particular episode or character for a reason they find funny or memorable. Outsiders won’t get it. – Solar Mike Mar 1 at 5:20
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tl;dr- It's ManBearPig from South Park. In the future, you can look up stuff like this with a reverse image search, like this one.


If you find a strange indicator on a lab door, it may be easiest to do a reverse image search. It's sorta like Google'ing something, just you're querying with an image rather than words.

In this case, I tried TinEye, searching with the image you provided in the question,
             ,
by referring to its URL, https://i.stack.imgur.com/usUNw.png. The search results page reveals that this is a warning about the infamous ManBearPig, as previously documented in the series South Park.

Obviously, this serves as not just a warning about the horrors of the existing monster, but to remind researchers about the potential hazards of their reckless tinkering in what man was not meant to meddle with.

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