A parody of the Nobel Prize, the Ig Nobel prizes are awarded every year for the most trivial or strange advancements in scientific research. These are the 25 most hilarious Ig Nobel prizes ever awarded.
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Probability: Bert Tolkamp and Marie Haskell for making two related discoveries: First, that the longer a cow has been lying down, the more likely that cow will soon stand up; and second, that once a cow stands up, you cannot easily predict how soon that cow will lie down again.
Peace: Alexander Lukashenko, president of Belarus, for making it illegal to applaud in public, AND to the Belarus State Police, for arresting a one-armed man for applauding.
Psychology: Anita Eerland and Rolf Zwaan for their study "Leaning to the Left Makes the Eiffel Tower Seem Smaller"
Literature: The US Government General Accountability Office, for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports.
Physiology: Anna Wilkinson and Ludwig Huber for their study "No evidence of contagious yawning in the red-footed tortoise Geochelone carbonaria".
Physics: Philippe Perrin, Cyril Perrot, and Herman Kingma for trying to determine why discus throwers become dizzy, and why hammer throwers don't, in their paper "Dizziness in discus throwers is related to motion sickness generated while spinning"
Peace: Arturas Zuokas, the mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania, for demonstrating that the problem of illegally parked luxury cars can be solved by running them over with a tank
Chemistry: Makoto Imai and Hideki Tanemura for determining the ideal density of airborne wasabi (pungent horseradish) to awaken sleeping people in case of a fire or other emergency, and for applying this knowledge to invent the wasabi alarm
Physics: Lianne Parkin and Patricia Priest of the University of Otago, New Zealand, for demonstrating that, on icy footpaths in wintertime, people slip and fall less often if they wear socks on the outside of their shoes.
Engineering: Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse and Agnes Rocha-Gosselin of the Zoological Society of London for perfecting a method to collect whale snot, using a remote-control helicopter.
Economics: The executives and directors of Goldman Sachs, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, and Magnetar for creating and promoting new ways to invest money—ways that maximize financial gain and minimize financial risk for the world economy, or for a portion thereof.
Chemistry: Eric Adams, Scott Socolofsky, Stephen Masutani and BP, for disproving the old belief that oil and water don't mix.
Veterinary medicine: Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University, UK, for showing that cows with names give more milk than cows that are nameless.
Mathematics: Gideon Gono, governor of Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank, for giving people a simple, everyday way to cope with a wide range of numbers by having his bank print notes with denominations ranging from one cent to one hundred trillion dollars.
Biology: Fumiaki Taguchi and Song Guofu of Kitasato University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Sagamihara, Japan, for demonstrating that kitchen refuse can be reduced more than 90% in mass by using bacteria extracted from the feces of giant pandas.
Biology: Christel Joubert, and Michel Franc, for discovering that fleas that live on dogs jump higher than fleas that live on cats
Physics: Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan and Enrique Cerda Villablanca for their theoretical study of how sheets become wrinkled
Nutrition: Brian Wansink, for investigating people's appetite for mindless eating by secretly feeding them a self-refilling bowl of soup
Linguistics: Juan Manuel Toro and Josep B. Trobalon for determining that rats sometimes can't distinguish between recordings of Japanese and Dutch played backward