KEY POINTS

  • The annual Ig Nobel Prize took place Thursday
  • It was held online but still kept its traditions
  • Below are the 10 winners of this year's awards

The time for the Ig Nobel Prize has come again and this year's winners are not lacking in the unusual science that has sparked people's imagination and interest.

The Ig Nobel Prize honors research that can "make people laugh, then think." Produced by the magazine Annals of Improbable Research, the ceremony is held every September to "celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology," the outlet noted.

This year's ceremony, which was held online Thursday, may have been a bit different from what people are used to, but it still maintained many traditions. These include having Nobel Laureates presenting the awards, as well as holding the so-called 24/7 lectures, wherein the "world's great thinkers" lectured on a topic twice — first to give a technical description for just 24 seconds, then to share a seven-word summary.

But of course, the highlight of the event, which you can watch here, is the presentation of the Ig Nobel Prize winners.

Ig Nobel Prize Winners 2021

First off, the winner for the Peace Prize goes to researchers in the U.S. whose study focused on the hypothesis that people evolved beards to help protect them from punches to the face. For the Entomology Prize, a U.S. team got the award for the 1971 study in which they looked for a new way to control cockroaches on submarines.

This year's winner for Biology is Susanne Schötz from Sweden, whose several researches focused on "cat-human" communication, from the purring to the growling and hissing. For the Ecology Prize, the award went to a team of researchers from Spain and Iran, who worked on identifying the bacteria strains in discarded chewing gum on the pavements in several countries.

Interestingly, the Physics and Kinetics Prizes went to two teams of researchers who focused on the seemingly mundane topic of walking down the street. Specifically, the Physics Prize winners conducted experiments to find out why "pedestrians do not constantly collide with other pedestrians," while the Kinetics Prize winners looked at why they sometimes do.

It was also an international team of researchers who brought home the Chemistry Prize for their study in measuring the air in movie theaters to determine whether the odors emitted by the audience "reliably indicate the levels of violence, sex, antisocial behavior, drug use and bad language" in the film that they're watching.

Meanwhile, the Transportation Prize went to a team of researchers who conducted experiments to see if it's safe to transport an airborne rhinoceros upside-down. As for the Medicine Prize, it went to researchers from Germany, Turkey and the U.K. whose study showed that sexual orgasms may, indeed, be just as effective in "improving nasal breathing" as medicines.

Lastly, Pavlo Blavatskyy received the Economics Prize for the study that discovered that the obesity in a country's politicians can actually be "a good indicator of that country's corruption."

beards help in dispersing the energy of a blow to the face beards help in dispersing the energy of a blow to the face Photo: Pexels