According to Wikipedia, a spurious correlation is a mathematical relationship in which two or more events or variables are associated but not causally related, due to either coincidence or the presence of a certain third, unseen factor (referred to as a “common response variable”, “confounding factor”, or “lurking variable”).
Tyler Vigen, a graduate of Harvard Law School and currently a consultant at Boston Consulting Group, has made sport of spurious correlations on his website, which charts farcical relationships between two variables.
Here are a few of the more far-flung relationships that Tyler has correlated:
And perhaps one of the best features of the web site is that you can create your own ridiculous correlations; here is one I created:
Vigen notes that the charts on his site aren’t meant to imply causation nor are they meant to create a distrust for research or even correlative data. Rather, he hope the project fosters interest in statistics and numerical research.
And what a noble cause that is…