Constipated scorpions, duck swim in formation and moose-shaped crash test dummy: scientific studies that aim to “first make you laugh and then make you think” won the “Ig Nobel Prize” (pronounced “ignorable”) in the United States ) has been awarded. Which roughly translates to derogatory). Due to the corona pandemic, Friday night traditionally the Srila Parva was held as a purely online event for the third time in a row.
According to the organisers, the non-endowed fun prizes, which will be awarded for the 32nd time, are intended to “celebrate the unusual and honor the imaginative”. Austrians were also among those honored in this way. Scientists in Brazil and Colombia received one in ten prizes for studying whether constipation affects scorpion mating chances. The award is a “great honour,” the researchers thanked during the pre-recorded event—and demonstrated the research they conducted using a stuffed animal scorpion.
young ducks swim on their mother’s wave
Researchers from China, Britain, Turkey and the US received the prize in the ‘Physics’ category for their effort to understand how ducks swim. As the scientists pointed out in their acceptance speech, waterfowl brought forth a wave started by their mother. “I feel like a happy duck,” commented one of them with a squeak in the picture. “Let me tell you all, if you’re not having fun you’re not really doing science.”
Swedish researcher Magnus Jens has been recognized for developing the Moose crash test dummy. “He was sincerely honored and proud to receive this award,” Jens said. His research was mainly concerned with the effects that a collision with a moose can have on a car.
when the hearts of those who love beats
Researchers from the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, the UK, Sweden and Aruba set out to try and find evidence that the heart rates of newlywed couples align when they first meet and are attracted to each other. “There is also research that suggests that married couples synchronize their heartbeat rates, for better or worse,” said one of the researchers. “People adjust on so many levels that they are not aware of it and it affects the decisions they make.”
Researchers in Japan have been recognized for finding the most efficient way for people to use their fingers when turning a knob. Researchers from the Netherlands, Guatemala, the United States and Austria dealt with “ritual colonic irrigation scenes on ancient Mayan pottery”—and were honored for it.
Experts in Poland received an award for demonstrating that patients undergoing a form of chemotherapy may be able to reduce some of the side effects such as swelling of the mouth from the consumption of ice cream – where, for example, ice Pieces have been a common practice until now.
a festival with paper airplanes
Typically, more than 1,000 spectators at a theater at the elite Harvard University follow the gala on the spot. But even at the online awards ceremony, which lasted about an hour and a half, which this time under the main theme “knowledge”, there were paper airplanes flying, sketches, quirky short operas and a lot more quirky slapsticks—the traditional ending by a scientist. The closing words of moderator Mark Abraham, editor of the Journal of Curious Research: “If you haven’t won an Ig Nobel Prize this year, and especially if you did, better luck next year!”
But those who initiated the Ig Nobel Prize will soon be awarded. They receive what is now the seventh Heinz Oberhumer Prize from Science Busters for “outstanding science communication”. It will be presented at a ceremony in Vienna on 24 November.