The 27th annual Ig Nobel Prizes were handed out on Thursday night. If you’re not familiar, it’s a ceremony at Harvard that gives awards to the DUMBEST scientific studies of the year. Here are the highlights:
1. The Physics prize went to a French study that asked, “Can a cat be both a solid and a liquid?” The results were inconclusive.
2. The Peace prize went to a Swiss study that found a potential cure for snoring is . . . didgeridoo music. (Didj err ee doo.) The didgeridoo is an instrument created by the Aborigines in Australia that’s a long tube and makes low, deep sounds. It might even be less soothing to listen to than someone snoring.
3. The Economics prize went to a study out of Australia that tested whether people would be willing to gamble if they were holding a LIVE CROCODILE on a leash. They found it actually made compulsive gamblers bet even more money.
4. The Fluid Dynamics prize went to a scientist in South Korea who found you might spill less coffee as you walk if you walk backwards.
5. The Medicine prize went to French scientists who used super advanced brain scanning technology to figure out just how disgusted some people are by cheese.
6. The Cognition prize went to scientists in Italy who tested to see if identical twins could tell themselves from their twin in photos . . . and they found that a lot of them couldn’t.
7. The Anatomy prize went to a British scientist who studied why old men have big ears. He found it’s because men’s
ears grow about two millimeters per decade after they turn 30, and when you pair that with balding, it eventually becomes noticeable.
8. (Careful!) And finally, the Obstetrics prize went to a team in Spain that found a human fetus can’t really hear music if you put the speakers on your belly . . . but they WILL respond to it if you put the speakers inside the mother’s lady parts. Science!