Science's Weirdest Discoveries Celebrated At Ig Nobel Awards

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BOSTON (AP) — The enactment lives of constipated scorpions, cute ducklings with an innate consciousness of physics, and a life-size rubber moose whitethorn not look to person overmuch successful common, but they each inspired the winners of this year’s Ig Nobels, the prize for comical technological achievement.

Held little than a period earlier the existent Nobel Prizes are announced, Thursday’s 32nd yearly Ig Nobel prize ceremonial was for the 3rd twelvemonth successful a enactment a prerecorded matter webcast connected the Annals of Improbable Research magazine’s website.

The winners, honored successful 10 categories, besides included scientists who recovered that erstwhile radical connected a unsighted day are attracted to each other, their bosom rates synchronize, and researchers who looked astatine wherefore ineligible documents tin beryllium truthful utterly baffling, adjacent to lawyers themselves.

Even though the ceremonial was prerecorded, it retained overmuch of the amusive of the unrecorded lawsuit usually held astatine Harvard University.

As has been an Ig Nobel tradition, existent Nobel laureates handed retired the prizes, utilizing a spot of video trickery: The Nobel laureates handed the prize disconnected screen, portion the winners reached retired and brought a prize they had been sent and self-assembled into view.

Winners besides received a virtually worthless Zimbabwean $10 trillion bill.

Curiosity Ig-nited? Learn much astir immoderate of the winners:


“Science is fun. My benignant of a tagline is you’re not doing subject if you’re not having fun,” said Frank Fish, a biology prof astatine West Chester University successful Pennsylvania who shared the physics Ig Nobel for studying wherefore ducklings travel their mothers successful single-file formation.

It’s astir vigor conservation: The ducklings are drafting, overmuch similar banal cars, cyclists and runners bash successful a race, helium said.

“It each has to bash with the travel that occurs down that starring organism and the mode that moving successful enactment tin really beryllium an energetic benefit,” said the appropriately named Fish, whose specialty is studying however animals swim.

He shared the prize with researchers astatine the University of Strathclyde successful Glasgow, Scotland, who recovered that the ducklings really surfed successful their mother’s wake.


Eliska Prochazkova’s idiosyncratic experiences inspired her probe connected dating that earned her and colleagues the cardiology Ig Nobel.

She had nary problems uncovering her evident cleanable lucifer connected dating apps, yet she often recovered determination was nary spark erstwhile they met face-to-face.

So she acceptable radical up connected unsighted dates successful existent societal settings, measured their physiological reactions and recovered that the bosom rates of radical attracted to each different synchronized.

So is her enactment grounds of “love astatine archetypal sight”?

“It truly depends, connected however you specify love,” Prochazkova, a researcher astatine Leiden University successful the Netherlands, said successful an email. “What we recovered successful our probe was that radical were capable to determine whether they privation to day their spouse precise quickly. Within the archetypal 2 seconds of the date, the participants made a precise analyzable thought astir the quality sitting successful beforehand of them.”


Solimary García-Hernández and Glauco Machado of the University of São Paulo successful Brazil won the biology Ig Nobel for studying whether constipation ruins a scorpion’s enactment life.

Scorpions tin detach a assemblage portion to flight a predator — a process called autotomy. But erstwhile they suffer their tails, they besides suffer the past information of the digestive tract, which leads to constipation — and, eventually, death, they wrote successful the diary “Integrated Zoology.”

“The semipermanent alteration successful the locomotor show of autotomized males whitethorn impair mate searching,” they wrote.


Magnus Gers won the information engineering Ig Nobel for making a moose “crash trial dummy” for his master’s thesis astatine KTH Royal Institute of Technology successful Stockholm, which was published by the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute.

Frequent moose vs. conveyance collisions connected Sweden’s highways often effect successful injuries and decease to some quality and animal, Gers said successful an email. Yet automobile makers seldom see carnal crashes successful their information testing.

“I judge this is simply a fascinating and inactive precise unexplored country that deserves each the attraction it tin get,” helium said. “This taxable is mystical, beingness threatening and much applicable than ever.”


Anyone who has ever work a presumption of work statement knows that ineligible documents tin beryllium downright incomprehensible.

That frustrated Eric Martinez, a postgraduate pupil successful the encephalon and cognitive subject section astatine the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who besides has a instrumentality grade from Harvard.

He, Francis Mollica and Edward Gibson shared the lit Ig Nobel for analyzing what makes ineligible documents unnecessarily hard to understand, probe that appeared successful the diary “Cognition.”

“Ultimately, there’s benignant of a anticipation that lawyers volition deliberation a small much with the scholar successful mind,” helium said. “Clarity doesn’t conscionable payment the layperson, it besides benefits lawyers.”

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