October 5, 2022

Final evening the annual Ig Nobel awards happened, marking one other yr of extraordinary scientific achievements getting the popularity they deserve. 

This yr’s winners embrace a research into the intercourse lives of constipated scorpions, an experiment involving a moose crash-test dummy, and analysis into why ducklings swim in a line behind their mom. 

An annual spoof on the Nobel Prize, the Ig Nobel Awards honour analysis that ‘makes you snicker then makes you suppose’.

The awards are normally held at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre, however 2022 marked the third consecutive yr of the ceremony being held on-line on account of Covid. 

Winners have been awarded in 10 classes for his or her achievements, and acquired a certificates, a do-it-yourself trophy and a defunct $10 trillion Zimbabwean greenback be aware. 

Right here, MailOnline takes a take a look at a number of the most unearthly, amusing and ugly analysis to be awarded in Ig Nobel historical past because the very first ceremony in 1991. 

Listed here are a number of the finest winners of the Ig Nobel awards, which have taken place yearly since 1991

Researchers in Japan found that gel spilled out from follicles of banana skin when crushed underfoot - largely to blame for its slippery reputation

Researchers in Japan discovered that gel spilled out from follicles of banana pores and skin when crushed underfoot – largely guilty for its slippery fame


The Ig Nobel Prize is a ‘spoof’ award run by the science humour journal Annals of Unbelievable Analysis.

It was first awarded in 1991 to have fun ten uncommon or trivial achievements in scientific analysis. 

The purpose is to ‘honour achievements that first make folks snicker, after which make them suppose.’ 

Winners are awarded below 10 classes, which may change yr by yr.

The title of the award is a pun on the Nobel Prize, which it parodies, and on the phrase ignoble (not noble).

The Ig Nobel Prizes are offered by Nobel laureates in a ceremony on the Sanders Theater, Harvard College.

For the previous three years they’ve been held on-line on account of coronavirus.


In 2014, a staff of specialists from Japan have been awarded the Physics prize for shedding mild on whether or not banana skins actually are as slippery as they’re portrayed in cartoons. 

The staff measured the quantity of friction between a shoe and a banana pores and skin – in addition to between a banana pores and skin and the ground – when an individual steps on a banana pores and skin that’s on the ground.

Following experiments that duplicated ‘the precise state of affairs of a slipping accident’, they discovered that friction was lowered about one sixth by the lubricating impact of the banana pores and skin. 

Additionally they discovered that gel spilled out from follicles of banana pores and skin when crushed underfoot was largely guilty for its slippery fame.  

‘The lubricating skill of banana pores and skin may be proved wonderful,’ they concluded. 


The Obstetrics prize in 2017 was awarded to Spanish researchers for experiments that concerned a weird intravaginal gadget.

Babypod is a small speaker that’s positioned contained in the vagina to play music to the infant within the womb. 

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Researchers discovered {that a} creating human fetus responded extra strongly to music performed contained in the mom’s vagina via the gadget than to music performed from a speaker perched on the mom’s stomach. 

Researchers demonstrated how a small, silicone speaker is inserted like a tampon and plays music directly to the fetus

Researchers demonstrated how a small, silicone speaker is inserted like a tampon and performs music on to the fetus

Responses from the infants have been quantified by recording facial actions recognized utilizing ultrasound. 

In line with the staff, the fetuses responded to music transmitted intravaginally by shifting their mouth and tongue, ‘as in the event that they have been attempting to talk or sing’.


In 2009, the Veterinary Drugs prize was awarded to researchers from Newcastle College for a discovery that gave dairy farmers a possible technique of accelerating milk yields. 

Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson found that cows who’ve names give extra milk than cows which might be anonymous. 

In his acceptance speech, Dr Rowlinson stated: ‘We undertook a sequence of research on younger dairy cattle which confirmed advantages of optimistic remedy throughout rearing. From a survey got here the discovering that cows with names gave extra milk.’ 

His analysis accomplice was unable to journey as a result of she just lately gave start, so she despatched a photograph of herself along with her new daughter wearing a cow go well with. 

Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson from Newcastle University discovered that cows who have names give more milk than cows that are nameless

Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson from Newcastle College found that cows who’ve names give extra milk than cows which might be anonymous


Of all of the Ig Nobel winners because the inaugural ceremony in 1991, one of the well-known is the winner of the Biology prize in 2003.

Kees Moeliker, a Dutch biologist and director of the Pure Historical past Museum in Rotterdam, was awarded for describing the primary scientifically reported case of gay necrophilia within the Mallard duck. 

As recounted in his paper, Moeliker heard a male duck fatally colliding with the glass wall of the museum earlier than seeing it being raped ‘virtually repeatedly for 75 minutes’ by one other male.  

This image from Kees Moeliker's research paper shows front and back views of the unfortunate victim

This picture from Kees Moeliker’s analysis paper exhibits back and front views of the unlucky sufferer 

‘Dissection confirmed that the rape sufferer certainly was of the male intercourse,’ he says within the paper. ‘Gonads seen and preserved. 

‘To the very best of my information, this case is the primary described case of gay necrophilia within the mallard.’

Since changing into an Ig Nobel champion, Moeliker has given a TED speak, entitled, ‘How a lifeless duck modified my life’. 


The 1998 prize for Statistics was awarded to 2 researchers for his or her report, ‘The Relationships Amongst Top, Penile Size, and Foot Dimension’. 

Research authors Jerald Bain of Toronto’s Mt. Sinai Hospital in and Kerry Siminoski of the College of Alberta wished to see whether or not ‘people fable’ that males with giant toes have an enormous penis has ‘any foundation in actual fact’. 

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After measuring top, penis size and shoe measurement of 63 ‘usually virilized males’, the duo concluded that the correlation between the measurements was a weak one.

‘Top and foot measurement wouldn’t function sensible estimators of penis size,’ they wrote of their report, printed in Annals of Intercourse Analysis.  


Greater than a decade after the Covid pandemic began, researchers from Chicago showcased an ingenuous two-in-one invention.  

Dr Elena Bodnar and colleagues gained the Public Well being award for his or her bra that may shortly convert right into a two protecting face masks.

Dr Bodnar demonstrated the bra mask on three Nobel-award winning scientists in attendance

Dr Bodnar demonstrated the bra masks on three Nobel-award successful scientists in attendance

The masks could possibly be shortly administered in lower than 30 seconds within the case of a gasoline leak and even as safety in opposition to viral particles. 

Dr Bodnar, initially from Ukraine, demonstrated the innovation on a trio of Nobel-award successful scientists in attendance at that yr’s ceremony.

In her acceptance speech, she stated: ‘Isn’t that fantastic that ladies have two breasts, not only one? We will save not solely our personal life, but additionally the lifetime of a person of our alternative subsequent to us.’


Underneath the Supplies Science class in 2020, Metin Eren from Kent State College in Ohio was awarded for fashioning a knife out of frozen human faeces.

Eren and his staff aimed to recreate the story of an Inuit man in Canada who customary a knife out of his personal excrement to butcher a canine. 

They used actual human faeces, frozen to -50°C, and filed it to a pointy edge earlier than attempting to chop meat with it – with out a lot success. 

An Ig Nobel award winning researcher concluded that 'knives manufactured from frozen human feces do not work'

An Ig Nobel award successful researcher concluded that ‘knives manufactured from frozen human feces don’t work’

Once they tried to slice meat, the knife-edge ‘merely melted upon contact, leaving streaks of faecal matter’.  

‘The poop knives failed miserably,’ Eren stated. ‘There’s not quite a lot of foundation empirically for this unbelievable story.

‘The purpose of this was to indicate that proof and reality checking are important,’ he stated of his analysis, which was printed in Journal of Archaeological Science: Reviews. 


In 2013, researchers from Sweden and South Africa got the Biology/Astronomy prize for displaying that ‘dung beetles use the Milky Method for orientation’.

The specialists strapped small cardboard caps over the eyes of dung beetles to obscure their imaginative and prescient as they moved with their dung balls. 

It was already recognized that dung beetles roll their dung balls alongside the bottom in straight traces. 

However the researchers discovered that their skill to do that was severely impeded once they obscured their imaginative and prescient with small cardboard caps over their eyes. 

After strapping cardboard over the eyes of dung beetles, researchers were awarded for discovering that when the insects can't see the starry sky their ability to walk in a straight line is impeded

After strapping cardboard over the eyes of dung beetles, researchers have been awarded for locating that when the bugs can’t see the starry sky their skill to stroll in a straight line is impeded 

The staff stated dung beetles orient to the starry sky to maneuver alongside straight paths, and don’t orientate to the person stars, however to the Milky Method. 

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‘This discovering represents the primary convincing demonstration for using the starry sky for orientation in bugs and gives the primary documented use of the Milky Method for orientation within the animal kingdom,’ they stated of their paper. 


In a couple of situations, Ig Nobel awards have been given to governments and official our bodies for spectacular fails or astonishing incompetence.  

In a spectacular instance of why it’s necessary to test issues earlier than giving them the all clear, the 2001 Expertise award was given to the Australian Patent Workplace for granting an innovation patent for the wheel. 

The award was given collectively to the patent workplace and John Keogh, a contract patent lawyer primarily based in Victoria, Australia.

In an try to check Australia’s new nationwide patent system, Keogh efficiently patented the wheel, by dressing it up in fancy language as a ‘round transportation facilitation gadget’. 

Years later, Innovation Patent #2001100012 was quietly revoked by the patent workplace.    

Full checklist of 2022 winners of the Ig-Nobel Prize 

APPLIED CARDIOLOGY PRIZE Eliska Prochazkova, Elio Sjak-Shie, Friederike Behrens, Daniel Lindh, and Mariska Kret, for in search of and discovering proof that when new romantic companions meet for the primary time, and really feel attracted to one another, their coronary heart charges synchronize.

LITERATURE PRIZE Eric Martínez, Francis Mollica, and Edward Gibson, for analyzing what makes authorized paperwork unnecessarily obscure.

BIOLOGY PRIZE Solimary García-Hernández and Glauco Machado, for finding out whether or not and the way constipation impacts the mating prospects of scorpions.

MEDICINE PRIZE Marcin Jasiński, Martyna Maciejewska, Anna Brodziak, Michał Górka, Kamila Skwierawska, Wiesław Jędrzejczak, Agnieszka Tomaszewska, Grzegorz Basak, and Emilian Snarski, for displaying that when sufferers bear some types of poisonous chemotherapy, they endure fewer dangerous negative effects when ice cream replaces one conventional element of the process.

ENGINEERING PRIZE Gen Matsuzaki, Kazuo Ohuchi, Masaru Uehara, Yoshiyuki Ueno, and Goro Imura, for attempting to find probably the most environment friendly manner for folks to make use of their fingers when turning a knob.

ART HISTORY PRIZE Peter de Smet and Nicholas Hellmuth, for his or her research ‘A Multidisciplinary Method to Ritual Enema Scenes on Historic Maya Pottery.’

PHYSICS PRIZE Frank Fish, Zhi-Ming Yuan, Minglu Chen, Laibing Jia, Chunyan Ji, and Atilla Incecik, for attempting to know how ducklings handle to swim in formation.

PEACE PRIZE Junhui Wu, Szabolcs Számadó, Pat Barclay, Bianca Beersma, Terence Dores Cruz, Sergio Lo Iacono, Annika Nieper, Kim Peters, Wojtek Przepiorka, Leo Tiokhin and Paul Van Lange, for creating an algorithm to assist gossipers determine when to inform the reality and when to lie.

ECONOMICS PRIZE Alessandro Pluchino, Alessio Emanuele Biondo, and Andrea Rapisarda, for explaining, mathematically, why success most frequently goes to not probably the most gifted folks, however as a substitute to the luckiest.

SAFETY ENGINEERING PRIZE Magnus Gens, for creating a moose crash check dummy.