Every year, the editors of the Annals of Improbable Research award the Ig Nobel Prizes, tributes to the most unusual research projects in all of science.
This year's prizes were awarded at last night's 27th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony (and no, that's not a typo) at Harvard's Sanders Theater by real Nobel Prize winners.
"We hope that this will get people back into the habits they probably had when they were kids of paying attention to odd things and holding out for a moment and deciding whether they are good or bad only after they have a chance to think," Marc Abrahams, editor of the Annals of Improbable Research, tells Reuters.
French researcher Marc-Antoine Fardin won the physics prize for his work "Can a Cat Be Both a Solid and a Liquid?" inspired by internet photos of cats tucked into glasses, buckets, and sinks, Reuters says. The peace prize went to a team from Switzerland, Canada, the Netherlands, and the US for their work demonstrating that the didgeridoo is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea and snoring.
Among the others prizes were an anatomy prize awarded to the UK's James Heathcote for his medical research study "Why Do Old Men Have Big Ears?"; a biology prize awarded to a team from Japan, Brazil, and Switzerland for their discovery of a female penis and a male vagina in a cave insect (they fittingly delivered a short video acceptance speech filmed in a cave); and a nutrition prize to a team from Brazil, Canada, and Spain for the first scientific report of human blood in the diet of the hairy-legged vampire bat.