Swedish team gets Ig Nobel prize for dung beetle study

Sept. 13, 2013 at 2:52 PM

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Harvard University in Massachusetts awarded an "Ig Nobel" prize to a Swedish team that studied how dung beetles use the stars.

The award, given for quirky scientific discoveries, was presented to a University of Lund research team that discovered dung beetles use the stars to navigate in the dark, The Local.se reported Friday.

"We were out in the field looking at some dung beetles and it became apparent that they were able to find their way in the dark using the Milky Way," assistant Professor Marie Dacke said. "The Ig Nobel organizers liked the fact that we did research out in the field and also in the planetarium with the dung beetles which brought us to their attention."

The Swedish team received a joint prize in biology and astronomy.

Other Ig Nobel winners this year included a psychology prize to an international team whose findings suggest drunk people tend to think of themselves as attractive, and a physics prize to a mainly Italian team that found humans would be able to run across the surface of a pond if the people and the pond were on the moon.

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