Scientists must never be afraid to ask any question and to seek any truth, no matter how silly it might seem. Case in point: a 2003 paper from the journal Mad Med Hypotheses, in which four brave souls from the Medical School in Hanover, Germany ponder "the function of groaning and hyperventilation during sexual intercourse" and how this leads to the "intensification of sexual experience by altering brain metabolism through hypocapnia." Yeah, I think we've found a solid contender for the most important scientific paper ever.

The dependably awesome NCBI ROFL has dug up this gem. Here's the abstract. We would set this up for you, but honestly, nothing we can say will prepare you for this paper's majesty. Just consider this our early Valentine's Day gift:

"Sexual arousal is accompanied by some typical physiological reaction patterns. Another typical feature of sexual intercourse is involuntary sound production implying in its more intense forms acceleration of breathing (hyperventilation). Up to now no study examined spCO2 during intense sexual intercourse, but there is evidence that some degree of hyperventilation with its physiological consequences may often be induced during sexual intercourse. This article discusses implications of hyperventilation during sexual intercourse for alterations of consciousness and subjective experience in the light of recent studies of brain metabolic changes during states of hyperventilation. Groaning and hyperventilation are interpreted in this context as a psychophysiological mechanism to deepen states of sexual trance."

Honestly, we're not sure what to make of any of that, but it is the general policy of io9 to support any science that involves "deepening states of sexual trance." That's just common sense, really.