Being the sort of grad student who will definitely not sleep in a bed seven times in the coming week, this quote really tickled me. Ah, to have worked before the days of that (now) old truism about all the easy problems having been solved.
[W]hen the Duke of Buckingham was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society on June 5, 1661, he presented the Society with a vial of powdered "unicorn horn". It was a well-accepted 'fact' that a circle of unicorn's horn would act as an invisible cage for any spider. Robert Hooke, the chief experimenter of the Royal Society, emptied the Duke's vial into a circle on a table and dropped a spider in the centre of the circle. The spider promptly walked out of circle and off the table. In its day, this was cutting-edge research.