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7 Of The Craziest Science Studies That Won At The Ig Nobel Awards

Did you let a bee sting your penis for science? No? Then you might not be Ig Nobel material.

Posted on September 18, 2015, at 6:50 p.m. ET

Every year for the past 25 years, the science humor journal Annals of Improbable Research, awards the Ig Nobel awards for "achievements that make people laugh, and then think."

Improbable Research

“The Stinker” is their official mascot.

The 2015 award ceremony was held this past Thursday at Harvard University.

Mike Benveniste / Improbable Research

Actual Nobel Prize winners were on hand to award the Ig Nobel awards to the honored recipients. According to a press release, the winners made brief acceptance speeches “with time limits enforced by a stoic, very cute eight-year-old girl.”

1. There was a chemistry award that went to a group of Australian and American researchers who invented “a chemical recipe to partially un-boil an egg.

Toni TheCook / Via

You wouldn’t know it from the title of their work, though. Their research paper was titled “Shear-Stress-Mediated Refolding of Proteins from Aggregates and Inclusion Bodies.”

2. Physicists from the US and Taiwan got a shoutout for testing “the biological principle that nearly all mammals empty their bladders in about 21 seconds (plus or minus 13 seconds).”

Universal Pictures

Despite all our differences, we are united by our bladders. Heartwarming.

3. A prize in medicine was awarded to researchers that studied “the biomedical benefits" or "consequences of intense kissing (and other intimate, interpersonal activities).”


The international teams included researchers from the US, the UK, Slovakia, Japan, Germany, and China. Among their findings was the conclusion that kissing might alleviate some allergic symptoms.

Netflix and “intimate, interpersonal activity,” anyone?

4. Mathematicians were lauded for their investigation into how the bloodthirsty Moroccan leader Moulay Ismael could have fathered 888 children.

Wikimedia / Via

The group included researchers from Austria, Germany, and the UK. They “developed a computer simulation which tests how many copulations per day were necessary to reach the reported reproductive outcome,” and concluded that the dude totally could have done it.

5. Chilean and American biologists valiantly showed that “when you attach a weighted stick to the rear end of a chicken” they walk kind of like dinosaurs.

View this video on YouTube

Chickens, of course, are the living descendants of dinosaurs after all. See for yourself!

6. There was also a prize in diagnostic medicine awarded to a group of researchers working in the UK that determined you can diagnose acute appendicitis by driving over speed bumps.

SFBiTv / Via

File that under “good to know.”

7. And the most heroic of all: A prize in “physiology and entomology” was awarded to people who let bees and other insects sting them (to see what hurt the most). Turns out it really hurts to get stung on the shaft of your penis.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Michael Smith, the fourth-year Cornell grad student who did the 'field work' on the penile bee sting, is the hero we never knew we needed.

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