26-Sep-2016 - Improbable Research

Fatal tombstones, goat men and "mirror scratching"

Ig Noble Prizes awarded

The laureates are once again awarded for their on the first, and often also on further, glance(s) nonsense studies in several areas of research. This is a short overview.

  • Reproduction Prize (Egypt):

    The late Ahmed Shafik, for studying the effects of wearing polyester, cotton, or wool trousers on the sex life of rats, and for conducting similar tests with human males. [1]+[2]




  • Physics Prize* (Hungary, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland):

    Gábor Horváth, Miklós Blahó, György Kriska, Ramón Hegedüs, Balázs Gerics, Róbert Farkas, Susanne Åkesson, Péter Malik, and Hansruedi Wildermuth, for discovering why white-haired horses are the most horsefly-proof horses, and for discovering why dragonflies are fatally attracted to black tombstones. [3]+[4]

  • Chemistry Prize (Germany):

    Volkswagen, for solving the problem of excessive automobile pollution emissions by automatically, electromechanically producing fewer emissions whenever the cars are being tested. [5]

  • Medicine Prize* (Germany):

    Christoph Helmchen, Carina Palzer, Thomas Münte, Silke Anders, and Andreas Sprenger, for discovering that if you have an itch on the left side of your body, you can relieve it by looking into a mirror and scratching the right side of your body (and vice versa). [6]

  • Biology Prize* (UK):

    Awarded jointly to: Charles Foster, for living in the wild as, at different times, a badger, an otter, a deer, a fox, and a bird; and to Thomas Thwaites, for creating prosthetic extensions of his limbs that allowed him to move in the manner of, and spend time roaming hills in the company of, goats. [7]+[8]

  • Perception Prize* (Japan):

    Atsuki Higashiyama and Kohei Adachi, for investigating whether things look different when you bend over and view them between your legs. [9]

Laureates with * mark attended the ceromy proudly to recieve their prizes.

Facts, background information, dossiers
  • Ig Noble Prize