Studies on airborne rhinos, hissing cats get Ig Nobels prize

Annual honour for unusual accomplishments in science and the humanities aims to make people laugh and then think.

A study about the modes of cat and human communication, including purring, meowing and hissing was also cited in the Biology category, which is among some of the findings given awards online on Thursday night.

An annual honour for unusual accomplishments in science and the humanities, the Ig Nobles professed aim is to make people laugh and then think.

The awards are presented by Nobel laureates and are usually held at Harvard University, but this year marked the second that the spoof awards had been held online.

A choral meditation on how bridges bring people together was interspersed between the presentations.

“You have to be a genius and creative and sometimes even a little bit crazy to move rhinos this way.”

The findings that people may have begun growing beards to help cushion the impact of blows was accorded the peace prize.

Chewing gum and orgasms as effective decongestants were some of the other topics of research that were honoured, as well as an experiment to learn why pedestrians do not constantly collide with other pedestrians.

Susanne Schotz from Sweden won the biology prize for analysing variations in “purring, chirping, chattering, trilling, tweedling, murmuring, meowing, moaning, squeaking, hissing, yowling, howling, growling, and other modes of cat–human communication” and even demonstrated some of the noises she had studied.

“If you didn’t win an Ig Nobel prize this year, and especially if you did, better luck next year,” he said.

In the history of the award, Andre Geim is the only Ig Nobel Prize winner who went on to become a Nobel Prize laureate.


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