How well can beards absorb blows to the face? Or what are the benefits of transporting rhinoceroses upside down? These are just a few questions that the winning studies of the Ig Nobel Prizes answer. The prizes aim to reward research that “first makes you laugh, but then makes you think”.
Real Nobel laureates handed out 10 Ig Nobel Prizes to scientists, economists, doctors, and mathematicians from 24 countries in an online ceremony. The lucky ones received a paper trophy and a counterfeit Zimbabwean $10 billion bill.
One of the most notable winners is a study of stunned rhinoceroses being transported upside down by helicopter. That would be better than transporting the animals on their side or chest. Upside down, rhinoceroses are “less likely to get muscle damage and have better blood flow to the lungs,” it sounds.
The winners of the Ig Nobel Peace Prize, on the other hand, focused on beards. They examined whether a beard protects the face during a fight: “Beards do not offer much protection. A really strong punch will always be dangerous,” said David Carrier, a biology professor at the University of Utah. “What we can say is that they provide some protection to the bones and skin.”
S*x as a nose unblocker
The medicine prize went to the team of the German professor Cem Bulut. He wanted to find out if an orgasm improves nasal airflow, something he would have noticed himself. Bulut monitored the nasal airflow in 18 couples before and after s^x. What seems? S*x is enough to get rid of stuffy noses for at least an hour.
How s^x can unblock the nose is not entirely clear: “I think it’s a mixture of arousal, exercise and hormonal changes that accompany an org*sm,” Bulut told the British newspaper The Guardian.
The full list of Ig Nobel prizes
Biology Prize: Research on variations in a purr, chirp, chatter, tremble, mumble, meow, moan, squeak, hiss, whine, howl, growl, and other forms of communication between cat and human.
Ecology Prize: Analysis of the different types of bacteria in chewing gum on pavements.
Chemistry Prize: Study that tests whether the odors emitted by people in a movie theater reliably indicate the levels of violence, s*x, antisocial behavior, drug use, and foul language in the movie.
Economy Prize: Finding that the obesity of a country’s politicians can be a good indicator of corruption in that country.
Medicine Prize: Research Proving Sexual Org*sms Can Improve Nasal Breathing.
Peace Prize: Testing the theory that beards protect against blows to the face.
Physics Prize: Experiment showing why pedestrians do not constantly collide with other pedestrians.
‘Kinetics’ or movement learning prize: Experiment showing why pedestrians sometimes collide with other pedestrians.
Entomology Prize (study of insects): Way to exterminate cockroaches on submarines.
Transport Prize: Studies that prove it’s safer to transport a rhinoceros upside down in the air.
In early December, the ‘real’ and more prestigious Nobel Prizes will be awarded in Stockholm and Oslo.