The Annals of Improbable Research has recognized 10 "improbable" research projects, including on the "law of urination" and how childhood natural disasters affect executives later in life.
See the list of last year's winners
The 25th annual Ig Nobels—which were distributed by Nobel Prize winners at an awards ceremony at Harvard University on Thursday—recognized unique scientific breakthroughs that "first make people laugh, then make them think," according to the organization.
This year's recipients include:
- Literature prize: The winners of this award published a study concluding that the word "Huh?" is found in almost every language worldwide. However, they were unable to discover why.
- Biology prize: This was awarded for a study finding that attaching a weighted artificial tail to a chicken leads it to walk in a similar manner to the way dinosaurs are believed to have walked.
- Management prize: The recipients of this prize published a study concluding that business leaders, such as Apple's Tim Cook, that experienced natural disasters in their childhood that did not have "dire personal consequences" for them take on more risk during their careers, while those more directly affected take on less risk.
- Medicine prize: Two groups of researchers received this award for their findings on the health benefits of "intense kissing and other intimate personal acts." A study by Japanese scientist Hajime Kimata on 60 patients, half of whom were allergic to cedar pollen and half of whom had atopic symptoms, found the patients kissing their significant others for 30 minutes in private while listening to soft music reduced their allergic reactions.
- Mathematics prize: This award went to researchers who calculated whether it was possible—and how it could have happened—for the Sharifian Emperor of Morocco, Moulay Ismael the Bloodthirsty, to father 888 children between 1697 and 1727. They determined it was possible, but took "a lot of work" (Associated Press/The Patriot-News, 9/18; Yuhas, The Guardian, 9/17; Hongo, "Japan Realtime," Wall Street Journal, 9/18; Moyer, "Morning Mix," Washington Post, 9/18).
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