Cadaver nostril hairs, lifeless spiders win Ig Nobel prizes


Counting nostril hairs in cadavers, repurposing lifeless spiders and explaining why scientists lick rocks, are among the many profitable achievements on this 12 months’s Ig Nobels, the prize for humorous scientific feats.

The thirty third annual prize ceremony on Thursday was a prerecorded on-line occasion, because it has been for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic, as a substitute of the previous dwell ceremonies at Harvard College. Ten spoof prizes had been awarded to the groups and people across the globe.

Among the many winners was Jan Zalasiewicz of Poland who earned the chemistry and geology prize for explaining why many scientists wish to lick rocks.

“Licking the rock, in fact, is a part of the geologist’s and palaeontologist’s armoury of tried-and-much-tested methods used to assist survive within the subject,” Zalasiewicz wrote in The Palaeontological Affiliation publication in 2017.

“Wetting the floor permits fossil and mineral textures to face out sharply, fairly than being misplaced within the blur of intersecting micro-reflections and micro-refractions that come out of a dry floor.”

A staff of scientists from India, China, Malaysia and america took the mechanical engineering prize for its examine of repurposing lifeless spiders for use in gripping instruments.

“The helpful properties of biotic supplies, refined by nature over time, eradicate the necessity to artificially engineer these supplies, exemplified by our early ancestors carrying animal hides as clothes and setting up instruments from bones. We suggest leveraging biotic supplies as ready-to-use robotic parts on this work attributable to their ease of procurement and implementation, specializing in utilizing a spider particularly as a helpful instance of a gripper for robotics purposes,” they wrote in Superior Science in July 2022.

Different profitable groups had been lauded for finding out the affect of instructor boredom on scholar boredom; the have an effect on of anchovies’ sexual exercise on ocean water mixing; and the way electrified chopsticks and ingesting straws can change how meals tastes, in response to the organisers.

The occasion is produced by the journal Annals Of Unbelievable Analysis and sponsored by the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Affiliation and the Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics College students.

“Every winner (or profitable staff) has achieved one thing that makes folks LAUGH, then THINK,” in response to the Annals Of Unbelievable Analysis web site.