Harvard University hosted the 27th ceremony of awarding scientists with the Shnobel Prize (in the original: Ig Nobel). "Shnobelevka" is awarded to scientists whose works represent a doubtful value for world science. On the other hand, if you just laugh with some research, then others are quite capable of making you think seriously. What pleased us with the ceremony this year? We have specially selected for you the most unusual of its prize-winners.
Let us remind you that each laureate receives from organizers 10 trillion Zimbabwean dollars. Nobel Prize winners Erik Maskin (economics), Oliver Hart (economics) and Row Glauber (physicist) presented awards this year. For the speech of thanks, each laureate was given only 60 seconds of time, after which a specially trained 8-year-old girl pronounced the control phrase: "Please, stop! I'm bored! "
Cats won the prize on physics this year. Wherever our pets get in: in boxes, jars, narrow openings – they always take the ideal shape of this space. The scientist Mark-Antoine Fardin in his study on rheology has proved that cats are nothing but a liquid. The researcher also notes that adult cats "spread" much faster than small kittens.
The Peace Prize was awarded to a group of researchers who managed to prove that playing the didgeridoo (a wind instrument of Australian Aborigines) helps a person cope with snoring. Suffering from snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, stopping breathing during sleep is enough only 5-6 times a week for 25 minutes to play on this instrument. After this, the frequency of attacks decreases sharply.
The economic award went to scientists who revealed the connection between crocodiles and gambling. As it turned out, people who for some time had been in contact with the crocodile (it was enough to just hold a small individual in their hands), then they began to make much more impressive gambling bets than those who refused to communicate with the reptile. Scientists explained this by the fact that emotional excitement from communicating with a predator gave rise to the illusion of a future victory in people.
The prize for research in the field of anatomy went to scientist James Heathcot, who proved that the ears of a person continue to grow every year. For many years, he examined a control group of people aged 30 to 93 years and concluded that their ears are increasing by about 0.2 millimeters per year.
A group of researchers who discovered why the insects of the genus Neotrogla, living in caves, exchanged their biology for sex roles. Dykes have grown in females, and males, on the contrary, have acquired vaginas. And for the fertilization, the male responds anyway. This is the only known to mankind kind of living beings, exchanged roles in the process of evolution. Scientists came to the conclusion that such changes were needed for the female to receive as much ejaculate as possible during the 70-hour pairing.
The prize for hydrodynamics was given to scientists who found out how best to keep a mug of coffee while walking so as not to spill a hot drink over the edge. The ideal way to transport coffee is when you lightly embrace the mug with your palm. It also turned out that moving with a mug of coffee in your hands is best backed forward. This quenches the fluctuations of the liquid in the cup as much as possible. But in this case there is a great risk of falling yourself.
In the field of nutrition, the award went to researchers who found out that the vampiric vampires (kind of bats from Central and South America) in recent years are not averse to enjoying the blood of people. Previously, these small predators were fed mainly by birds and cattle. After studying the feces of bats, scientists discovered the DNA of chickens and humans.
The prize for medicine went to scientists who revealed in the human brain the area responsible for dislike for cheese. The study involved more than 300 volunteers, whose brain was studied by means of an MRI device. After identifying people who do not tolerate cheese, scientists showed them pieces of cheese during a brain study and allowed them to sniff. It turned out that the most active elements in these moments were the basal ganglia elements – the white sphere and the black substance. They are, in the opinion of scientists, responsible for the regulation of a sense of disgust.
And finally – a premium in the field of obstetrics. This year it was received by scientists who proved that during pregnancy the fetus reacts more actively to music if it is lost inside the vagina of the mother, and not outside the abdomen. Similar experiments were conducted in 106 pregnant women, while the researchers followed the facial expression with the help of an ultrasound machine.