CAMBRIDGE (Massachusetts) • The 26th annual Ig Nobel prizes have been awarded, recognising some of the silliest science around or, as organisers put it, research that makes people laugh, and then think.
The ceremony was held at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre on Thursday.
Here are the winners of the Ig Nobel spoof awards:
The late Ahmed Shafik, for testing the effects of wearing polyester, cotton or wool trousers on the sex life of rats.
Mark Avis and colleagues, for assessing the perceived personalities of rocks, from a sales and marketing perspective.
Gabor Horvath and colleagues, for discovering why white-haired horses are the most horsefly-proof horses, and for discovering why dragonflies are fatally attracted to black tombstones.
Volkswagen, for solving the pro- blem of excessive automobile pollution emissions by automatically electromechanically producing less emissions whenever the cars are being tested.
Christoph Helmchen and colleagues, for discovering that if you have an itch on the left side of your body, you can relieve it by looking in a mirror and scratching the right side of your body (and vice versa).
Evelyne Debey and colleagues, for asking a thousand liars how often they lie, and for deciding whether to believe those answers.
Gordon Pennycook and colleagues, for their scholarly study called On The Reception And Detection Of Pseudo-Profound Bullshit.
Awarded jointly to: Charles Foster, for living in the wild as, at different times, a badger, an otter, a deer, a fox and a bird; and Thomas Thwaites, for creating prosthetic extensions of his limbs that allowed him to move in the manner of, and spend time roaming hills in the company of, goats.
Fredrik Sjoberg, for his three-volume autobiographical work about the pleasures of collecting flies that are dead, and flies that are not yet dead.
Atsuki Higashiyama and Kohei Adachi, for investigating whether things look different when you bend over and view them between your legs.