There is plenty of foolish discoveries and research done nowadays. It is not that people rapidly grew foolish in the end of XX – the beginning of XXI centuries. However, after the creation of IgNobel Prize and media’s fascination with the event, all such "findings" become known to the public very fast. And once again the public realizes that too much wisdom is no good.
IgNobel Prize was established in 1991 by the American journal called "Annals of incredible research". And while many scientists wait for decades to become the Nobel Prize laureates, it is much easier to become the laureate of "IgNobel". It's just enough to make a very original discovery. So original, that it is better not to repeat it.
Usually, the IgNobel Prize ceremony is held in the Harvard University, a day before the official Nobel Prize is awarded. This year the IgNobel Prize presentation ceremony will take place on the 30th of September. In the meantime, take a look at some of the former years' IgNobel Prize laureates whose discoveries and research shocked the organization committee so much, that they were added to the annals of the IgNobel Prize.
Literature In 1992 Yuri Struchkov, a fellow researcher at the Institute of Organoelemental Compounds became famous worldwide. He was awarded for phenomenal productivity. In nine years from 1981 to 1990 he managed to publish 948 scientific works. On average, this means he had to produce one work every 3,9 days. 1998 - Dr. Martha Sidoli (Washington) was honored for a report entitled "Farting as a defense mechanism for the unspoken dread."
2000 - The award was given to Australian writer Helen Greve. She wrote a book in which she stated that although some people do eat food, they don't really need to. Air and sunlight is enough. The book is based mainly on her own experience. How on earth me managed live up to that time, remains a mystery. 2003 - John Trinkaus, of the Zicklin School of Business, New York City was awarded for several works: "Exit from the building: informal look" and "Exit: further look" where he showed that most people tend to exit through an open door. And in his monograph "Taste preferences relative to Brussels sprouts" removed all doubts in that 50% of pupils and students dislike this vegetable.
1999 - The award was shared between Dr. Len Fisher (Sydney, Australia) for calculating the optimal way to dunk a biscuit and professor Jean-Marc Vanden-Broeck (Belgium) for calculating how to make a teapot spout that does not drip.
2000 - The winners were: Andre Geim (Netherlands) and Sir Michael Berry of Bristol University, for using magnets to levitate a frog. 2002 - The laureate was Arnd Leike of the University of Munich, for his work demonstrating that beer froth obeys the mathematical Law of Exponential Decay. Results of this research were published in the European Journal of Physics.
2003 - The award went to seven Australian scientists for their report "An Analysis of the Forces Required to Drag Sheep over Various Surfaces". The results will most likely improve the work of sheep-draggers. Biology
1999 - Award was given to Dr. Paul Bosland (director of The Chile Pepper Institute, New Mexico State University) for breeding a “non-hot” jalapeno chili pepper.
2003 - The laureate was C.W. Moeliker, of Natuurmuseum Rotterdam (Netherlands) for documenting the first scientifically recorded case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard duck. The scientist himself observed that a male mallard duck was trying to copulate with a dead male of mallard duck which had died of a collision with the museum's glass front. The entire procedure lasted for 75 minutes.
Medicine 1999 - The indisputable favorite was Dr. Arvid Vatle (Norway) who carefully collected, classified, and contemplated which kinds of containers his patients choose when submit urine samples.
2001 - This year gave us a chance to read Peter Barss' of McGill University influential medical report "Injuries Due to Falling Coconuts.” 2003 - Was the year of glory of the scientists from the University College, London for presenting evidence that the brains of London taxi drivers are more highly developed than those of their fellow citizens. The work was published with the title "Navigation-Related Structural Change In the Hippocampi of Taxi Drivers".
It is noticeable that this was already the second triumph of the University College of London - a year before they gave the world a fabulous work called "Scrotal Asymmetry in Man and in Ancient Sculpture".
2000 - The British Royal Navy was awarded for ordering its sailors to stop using live cannon shells, and to shout "Bang!" instead. This innovation has already resulted in about a million of pounds of economy for the tax-payers.
Forest fires in Siberia have been raging for three months already. They have become a disaster not only of Russian, but of global scale. The fires have already scorched 12 million hectares of land