Ig Nobel Prizes awarded for poop knives, helium-inhaling alligator

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Sept. 18 (UPI) -- The 2020 Ig Nobel Prizes announced in a virtual ceremony included awards for researchers who made knives out of frozen poop and a team of scientists who had an alligator shout after inhaling helium.

The Ig Nobel Prizes, given out each year by the satirical journal Annals of Improbable Research in a ceremony at Harvard University, were distributed in a virtual ceremony Thursday.


The Materials Science Prize was awarded to a Kent State University team who crafted knives from their own frozen feces as a means of investigating an ethnographic account of an Inuit man who claimed to have made a knife from his own frozen poop.

The Kent State team found the knives melted and deteriorated too quickly to be of much use.

A group of researchers from Austria and Japan received the Acoustics Prize for putting an alligator in a helium-filled box and having it vocalize. The scientists were aiming to determine whether the vocal communications of crocodilians relate to their body size.

The Ig Nobel Peace Prize went to the governments of India and Pakistan for "having their diplomats surreptitiously ring each other's doorbells in the middle of the night, and then run away before anyone had a chance to answer the door" in a reported 2018 incident.


The Ig Nobel Prizes, founded in 1991 to "honor achievements that make people laugh, then think," also included awards this year for researchers who suggested narcissists can be identified by their eyebrows, a scientist whose research suggests widespread fear of spiders among entomologists and a research team who vibrated earthworms at high frequencies to detect changes in their body shapes.

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