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The Funny Side of Science

The satirical journal Annals of Improbable Research has named the winners of the 2016 Ig Nobel Prizes, honoring "silly" research "that first makes you laugh, and then makes you think," Gizmodo reports.

The medicine prize went to Christoph Helmchen, Carina Palzer, Thomas Münte, Silke Anders, and Andreas Sprenger, "for discovering that if you have an itch on the left side of your body, you can relieve it by looking into a mirror and scratching the right side of your body (and vice versa)," according to Gizmodo.

The biology prize was jointly awarded to Charles Foster, for at various times living as a badger, an otter, a deer, a fox, and a bird in the wilderness, and to Thomas Thwaites, for creating prosthetic limb extensions that allowed him to move like and spend time with goats.

Further, the reproduction prize this year went to the late Ahmed Shafik, "for studying the effects of wearing polyester, cotton, or wool trousers on the sex life of rats, and for conducting similar tests with human males," Gizmodo says.

The physics prize went to Gábor Horváth, Miklós Blahó, György Kriska, Ramón Hegedüs, Balázs Gerics, Róbert Farkas, Susanne Åkesson, Péter Malik, and Hansruedi Wildermuth, for their groundbreaking research on the attractiveness of dragonflies to black tombstones, and the horsefly-proof nature of white-haired horses.

The chemistry prize went to Volkswagen, "for solving the problem of excessive automobile pollution emissions by automatically, electromechanically producing fewer emissions whenever the cars are being tested," Gizmodo reports.

And the perception prize was earned by Atsuki Higashiyama and Kohei Adachi, for learning that things do indeed look different when you bend over and at them between your legs.