Science & Technology
2021 Ig Nobel Prize celebrates weird science
September 18, 2021 | 0 comments
Should rhinos be airlifted upside-down ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 William Warby
For the second year running, this traditional celebration of science's most peculiar projects took place online.
A parody of the better-known and more prestigious Nobel Prize, the Ig Nobel Prize seeks to offer recognition to those who have contributed to the world of science in more unusual ways.
This year's prize for transportation went to an international group of scientists who had attempted to answer the question on everybody's lips: are rhinos safer when airlifted upside down ?
After attempting to transport 12 black rhinos in both configurations, they concluded that airlifting them upside-down is actually beneficial because their blood oxygen levels are higher.
Another prize this year went to scientists at the University of Utah who attempted to determine whether or not having a beard actually protects your skull from physical damage.
Using a mock-up comprised of fiber epoxy composite, they discovered that - yes it does.
Other prize winners for 2021 included a study into how pedestrians stay in their own lane when walking and an investigation into the microbiome of chewing gum stuck to pavements.
There was even a prize on offer for a team of scientists from Sweden who attempted to learn whether or not cats have an actual language that they use to communicate with one another.
In the end it was concluded that they don't.
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