There is a page dedicated in every daily newspaper to advances in latest technologies of the day. This section has interesting snippets of latest researches that are being done all over the world, newest inventions in medicines, latest robots, and such like.

But occasionally, I come across a few articles that are so funny that they should be in the funnies section and not on the science and technology section. I sometimes fail to understand how universities and institutes have wasted money on such useless research papers.

Here are some of such research papers that I have seen in the daily newspaper in the recent past.

  • “Cake culture” at workplace can fuel obesity risk
    • Really? Did you not know that eating cakes and such junk everyday is obesity inducing without the Surgeons at the Royal College of Surgeons, UK telling you?
  • Humans, not climate killed off big beasts
    • A study has shown that a large number of wonderful and weird animals have been exterminated in Australia by human activity. This looks like such an obvious conclusion. I would assume that human activity has affected the whole world and not just Australia in this regard.
  • Use of sunbeds increases the risk of skin cancer
    • Sunbeds used for indoor tanning increases the possibility of skin cancer says University of Oslo. Well, yeah! Too much sunbathing itself is bad for health. So tanning will increase the risk, you moron!
  • Fair amount of intelligence is required to play chess
    • Well, Duh! 😀

Of course these research papers are not worthy of the Ig Nobel Awards. Ig Nobel awards are parodies of the Nobel Prize. These awards are given with the stated aim to “honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think”. For example these are the Ig Nobel awards for the year 2016 under various categories. Have a good laugh!

  • Reproduction: The late Ahmed Shafik, for testing the effects of wearing polyester, cotton, or wool trousers on the sex life of rats, and for then conducting similar tests on the human male.
  • Economics: Mark Avis and colleagues, for assessing the perceived personalities of rocks, from a sales and marketing perspective.
  • Physics: Gabor Horvath and colleagues, for discovering why white-haired horses are the most horsefly-proof horses, and for discovering why dragonflies are fatally attracted to black tombstones.
  • Chemistry: Volkswagen, for solving the problem of excessive automobile pollution emissions by automatically, electro-mechanically producing fewer emissions whenever the cars are being tested.
  • Medicine: Christoph Helmchen and colleagues, for discovering that if you have an itch on the left side of your body, you can relieve it by looking into a mirror and scratching the right side of your body (and vice versa).
  • Psychology: Evelyne Debey and colleagues, for asking a thousand liars how often they lie, and for deciding whether to believe those answers.
  • Peace Prize: Gordon Pennycook and colleagues, for their scholarly study called “On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-Profound Bullshit”.
  • Biology: Awarded jointly to: Charles Foster, for living in the wild as, at different times, a badger, an otter, a deer, a fox, and a bird; and to Thomas Thwaites, for creating prosthetic extensions of his limbs that allowed him to move in the manner of, and spend time roaming hills in the company of, goats.
  • Literature: Fredrik Sjöberg (sv), for his three-volume autobiographical work about the pleasures of collecting flies that are dead, and flies that are not yet dead.
  • Perception: Atsuki Higashiyama and Kohei Adachi, for investigating whether things look different when you bend over and view them between your legs.

disclaimer: I have taken the Ig Nobel award details of 2016 from wikipedia