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Analyzing the Health Risks in James Bond Movies

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 29, 2021

James Bond looking sick

A group of epidemiologists have analyzed all 25 James Bond movies to assess the risks Bond encounters on his travels around the globe.

The result is a highly entertaining, tongue-in-cheek short paper in the journal Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease. The paper details 007’s exposure risk to infectious agents during his global travels, covering everything from foodborne pathogens to ticks and mites, hangovers and dehydration from all those martinis, parasites, and unsafe sex.

Some of the findings include that 007 should wash his hands more often, frequently risks dehydration and heatstroke due to improper hydration, often engages in unsafe sex with partners whose sexual histories are unknown to him, and endangers his sexual partners (“27.1% of them died shortly after sex”). My favorite finding is the speculation that Bond contracted Toxoplasmosis1 from a cat in From Russia With Love and that’s why he engages in risky behavior all the time:

The biggest stretch in Graumans et al.’s analysis is that of feline-borne Toxoplasmosis, a parasite carried by cats. Those who contract the parasite tend to exhibit reckless behavior, such as mice losing their fear of cats. Bond engages in all manner of reckless behavior, and the authors suggest he may have contracted the parasite from Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s fluffy white Persian cat (featured in both From Russia With Love and Spectre). The possibility is admittedly far-fetched, but isn’t that the essence of a good Bond film?

  1. I will take any opportunity to remind you of one of my favorite things I’ve ever posted: a short talk by Kevin Slavin about how the Toxoplasma gondii may be responsible for viral videos.