STAVANGER, Norway, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- It's a proposition so outlandish to some that critics spent a good deal of time Wednesday trying to determine whether or not it's true -- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump being nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.
The answer: It's true, apparently.
Trump has been listed among numerous international figures as nominees for this year's prestigious humanitarian award, the past winners of which include President Barack Obama (2009), Al Gore (2007), Nelson Mandela (1993), and Mother Theresa (1979).
It wasn't clear exactly who nominated Trump, but the Peace Research Institute Oslo said whoever it was cited the real estate magnate's "peace through strength" philosophy as merit for consideration.
Although being nominated for the award and actually winning the award are two different propositions, Trump's inclusion on the list does carry some weight.
The only people who can make nominations are previous winners of the prize, members of the Nobel committee, international courts or governments, and select university professors -- meaning someone who is held in high esteem believes Trump is worthy of consideration.
A description next to Trump's name on the nominees list describes him as a "businessman and candidate for the Republican Party's presidential primaries this year, is nominated for 'his vigorous peace through strength ideology, used as a threat weapon of deterrence against radical Islam, ISIS, nuclear Iran and Communist China' (confirmed by US nominator)."
Other notable figures also nominated with Trump include Nixon-era whistleblower Daniel Ellsburg, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Pope Francis, actress Susan Sarandon, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and South Carolina's Emanuel AME Church, where nine people were killed in a shooting rampage last summer.
The five-member Nobel committee receives about 200 nominations each year, which are kept secret for 50 years -- unless they leak, which they often do.
Trump's nomination marks another year of controversy among Nobel nominees. President Barack Obama won the prize in 2009, in the first year of his first term, a decision criticized by many as premature.
The primary reason for confusion among critics regarding Trump's nomination is the candidate's aggressive and often times brash rhetoric regarding foreign policy and matters of conflict. Last year, he proposed a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the United States and has made clear his opposition to illegal immigration.
He also has been accused of mocking a disabled New York Times reporter and has waged a highly publicized feud with Megyn Kelly of Fox News, who he's called a bimbo, among other things.
"The State of Iowa should disqualify Ted Cruz from the most recent election on the basis that he cheated- a total fraud!" Trump tweeted Wednesday.
"Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!" another tweet read.
The winner of the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize was the National Dialogue Quartet "for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011."