The 26th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony has concluded, honoring 10 eccentric projects that made people laugh first then think.
The ceremony is held every September in Harvard University's Sanders Theatre, where the awards are physically handed out by real Nobel laureates, much to the amusement of everyone involved and the presenters themselves.
Last Sept. 22, the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony saw the following winners:
In Reproduction - Ahmed Shafik; Studied the effects of wool, cotton, or polyester trousers on rat sex life and conducted similar tests involving human males.
In Economics - Shelagh Ferguson, Sarah Forbes and Mark Avis; Assessed the perceived personalities of rocks using a sales and marketing standpoint.
In Physics - Hansruedi Wildermuth, Péter Malik, Susanne Åkesson, Róbert Farkas, Balázs Gerics, Ramón Hegedüs, György Kriska, Miklós Blahó and Gábor Horváth; Discovered why white-haired horses are horsefly-proof and why dragonflies are highly attracted to black-colored tombstones.
In Chemistry - Volkswagen; Solved the problem of excessive car emissions by electromechanically producing fewer emissions when vehicles are tested.
In Medicine - Andreas Sprenger, Silke Anders, Thomas Münte, Carina Palzer and Christoph Helmchen; Discovered that an itch on one side of the body can be remedied by looking into a mirror and scratching the spot on the opposite site.
In Biology - Charles Foster and Thomas Thwaites; To Foster, for having lived in the wild as a bird, fox, deer, otter and badger at different times, and to Thwaites, for making prosthetic limb extensions that gave him the mobility of a goat, which allowed him to spend time in the hills with, well, goats.
In Psychology - Bruno Verschuere, Kristina Suchotzki, Gordon Logan, Maarten De Schryver and Evelyne Debey; Asked a thousand liars how often they tell lies and decided whether to believe those answers.
In Peace - Jonathan Fugelsang, Derek Koehler, Nathaniel Barr, James Allan Cheyne and Gordon Pennycook; Carried out a study titled "On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-Profound Bullshit."
In Literature - Fredrik Sjöberg; Produced a three-volume autobiography on the pleasures of collecting flies, dead or otherwise.
In Perception - Kohei Adachi and Atsuki Higashiyama; Investigated how things look differently when viewed from between the legs and bent over.
The Ig Nobel Prize is brought together by the Annals of Improbable Research, with the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association and the Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics Students sponsoring the ceremony.
Since 1991, the award-giving body has been recognizing 10 projects every year. Many of the winners also give short, free public lectures to discuss their projects. Each lecture lasts about 5 minutes, plus time for answering questions. This year's Ig Informal Lectures will be held on Sept. 24 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Photo: Sam Greenhalgh | Flickr