Thomas Thwaites is a something of a field researcher with an unusual method of investigation. Thwaites avidly studies goats and, in an effort to learn more about goat society, decided to live as one for six days. He commissioned special goat-like prosthetics for his arms and legs, and infiltrated a herd on a goat farm in the Swiss Alps.
According to Mashable, Thwaites is designer from England who conducted his study in September 2014. He carefully documented his time with the herd, and details of his project are now finally being displayed to the public.
He apparently used personal vacation time for his unusual escape.
“My goal was to take a holiday from the pain and worry of being a self-conscious being, able to regret the past and worry about the future,” he said.
He used the prosthetic goat limbs to adapt the physicality of goat life, but he also said he was interested in the cognitive and behavioral aspects of goat herd mentality.
Thwaites even went so far as to speak with several goat experts and biologists so that he could live and act as authentically goat-like as possible.
He traveled with the herd and grazed with the herd for three days, then spent the last three days living as a goat alone.
In speaking with Motherboard, Thwaites shared some of his interactions with the herd:
“I found myself at nearly the highest point on the hill of the whole herd of goats, and there was this moment where I looked and noticed that all the other goats had stopped chewing and were looking at me. I hadn’t been scared at all before, but I suddenly became aware of their quite sharp and pointed horns.
A particular goat that I’d been hanging out with a lot seemed to have defused the situation, I might just be making human stories in my brain, but that’s what it seemed to me.”