Among the unsolved mysteries of the universe is the appeal of a hamburger patty stuffed between two Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

Sarah Jarlsberg of Santa Rosa plunked down $9 for one Wednesday at the Sonoma County Fair, on the simple logic that “it sounded good.”

Why not? Eating at the fair is an excuse to experiment with the known laws of nature, to color outside the lines of accepted nutritional science and to explore the world of hallucinogens without actually taking any.

Because really, whoever dreamed up a lobster corn dog had to be out of their mind.

Turns out, though, it’s the most popular item by far at Sharky’s Fish Fry.

Ania Ogorek said she’d never heard of or tasted a corn dog prior to getting a job with Sharky’s. But the Warsaw, Poland, resident was so impressed with the deep-fried delicacy that she’s planning to open a corn dog stand when she returns home to Poland.

Europe already has french fries. But the mound of curly fries Eduardo Tellez ordered Wednesday from Big Jim’s Dawg House was clear and convincing evidence that Americans will super-size anything if given the chance.

“That’s too much,” the boy’s brother, Luis Mendoza, said after Tellez sat down to begin his assault on cholesterol mountain. “I couldn’t eat half that.”

Alyssa Curtis of Petaluma compared eating at the fair to being on “vacation” and not worrying about the consequences of one’s actions, which in her case included eating a polish sausage ordered from Stuffies.

“You pig out,” Curtis said.

But nature, as always, has a way of evening things out.

Mayra Madrigal went with a Greek salad Wednesday because she said she was still feeling unwell from the corn dog and chili fries she ate at the fair the day before.

“I looked all over and this is about the healthiest thing I could find,” she said of the salad, which consisted of iceberg lettuce, onions, olives and a healthy dollop of dressing.

Madrigal, who works for the Redwood Community Health Coalition, was at the fair Wednesday to promote California’s health care plans. The coalition also offered tips on combating hypertension, advice that surely would come in useful after a tour of duty through the fair’s food pavilion.

Alas, the coalition’s booth wasn’t attracting a lot of interest. “And we’re even handing out free hats,” Madrigal said.

Nathen Smith, 11, of Santa Rosa and his two cousins enjoyed a plate of pesto pasta from The Pasta King, which was a slightly subversive choice given that most kids were going for the deep-fried food options.

Suzzett Smith, the boy’s mother, said her family follows an organic, no-salt, low-dairy diet at home. But she and her sister, Rebecca Clemmer, gave their kids carte blanche Wednesday to choose what they wanted to eat. The boys went with the pasta and a 24-ounce Dr. Pepper, which they shared.

Suzzett and Rebecca, however, couldn’t stomach buying food at the fair. Instead, they left the fairgrounds to get a homemade tamale, one for each of them.

“Hmm,” Rebecca said, “I wonder if a tamale is any healthier than what we could have gotten here.”

It’s a mystery.

You can reach Staff Writer Derek Moore at 521-5336 or derek.moore@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @deadlinederek.