2016 IG Nobel prize winners

Rocks with personalities and rats in pants helped researchers bag Ig Nobel prizes, which honours studies that “make you laugh, then make you think”.

The 26th annual ceremony, held at Harvard University, awarded each winner a trillion Zimbabwe dollars (worth around 0.4 US cents).

Here are just a few of the winners:

The reproduction prize went to late Egyptian doctor Ahmed Shafik put pants on rats to see how different materials affected the rodents’ sex life and fertility.

The Ig Nobel for economics was awarded to Mark Avis and Shelagh Ferguson from New Zealand and Sarah Forbes from the UK. They analysed the perceived personality of rocks from a marketing perspective.

Why white horses are most horsefly-proof and why dragonflies are fatally attracted to black tombstones netted Gábor Horváth, Miklós Blahó, György Kriska, Ramón Hegedüs, Balázs Gerics, Róbert Farkas, Susanne Åkesson the physics prize.

The much-maligned Volkswagon automobile company gained the Ig Nobel in chemistry for “solving the problem of excessive automobile pollution emissions by automatically, electromechanically producing fewer emissions whenever the cars are being tested”.

Got an itch on the left side of your body? Look in a mirror and scratch the right side to alleviate it – this discovery gave Christoph Helmchen, Carina Palzer, Thomas F. Münte, Silke Anders and Andreas Sprenger the medicine Ig Nobel.

The prize in literature went to Swedish Fredrik Sjoberg who wrote three books on dead and not-yet-dead hoverflies.

The full list will be published on the Ig Nobel website.

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