Adolf Hitler's role in the Second World War is often overlooked, reads one exam essay on 20th century history, while another student claimed all cars will soon be fitted with "Catholic converters" - examples of the biggest howlers taken from examinations this summer.

Times Higher Education magazine has released its annual nominations for the most bizarre exam bloopers that teachers have had to mark this year.

One of the nominations arrives from John Milliken, a lecturer in education at the University of Ulster, who was informed by one of the university's students "the [hole in the] ozone layer was caused by a*******s".

"He probably meant aerosols, but then...maybe not," he added.

A second answer unwittingly told of a sinister plot by the Vatican: according to a student at the University of Ulster "in future all cars [will] be fitted with Catholic converters". The question was about vehicle emissions.

Elsewhere, a University of Sheffield student revealed the painful truth that Google is "one of the two main suppositories of data in the world" and the current coalition government has a "toff stance on tax avoidance".

The latter, submitted by Josephine Kelly, a lecturer in business and government at Aston University, counts as a double whammy as "toff" was actually meant to be "tuff", as in "tough".

Other entries include:

"Globalisation has led to a growing interconnectedness between a small-scale people and larger-scale cities across the globe." - Submitted by Suzanne Reimer, lecturer in geography at Southampton University.

"Within these coffeehouses, men from all different parts of the world could interfere with each other." - Submitted by Andrew Rudd, lecturer in English literature at the University of Exeter.

"Octopuses are intelligent because they have been found to be able to predict the winners of football matches during the World Cup." - A reference to Paul the Octopus, who correctly guessed the winners of games during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, as noted by Britta Osthaus, senior lecturer in psychology at Canterbury Christ Church University.

And finally, "Hitler's role in the Second World War is often overlooked." - A true howler put forward by Alix Green, lecturer in history at the University of Hertfordshire.

The winning entry will be announced in the next edition Times Higher Education.