This is a list of Ig Nobel Prize winners starting from 1991 to the present day. The
awards are given based on their silliness more than anything else. Commenting on the 2006 awards, Marc Abrahams, editor of
Annals of Improbable Research, co-sponsor of the awards, said: "The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honour the imaginative - and spur people's interest in science, medicine and technology." However, all prizes were awarded for real achievements (except for three in 1991 and one in 1994 due to an erroneous press release) and are mainly intended to increase interest in science.
Reproduction Prize — Ahmed Shafik [EGYPT], for studying the effects of wearing polyester, cotton, or wool trousers on the sex life of rats, and for conducting similar tests with human males.
Economics Prize — Mark Avis, Sarah Forbes, and Shelagh Ferguson [NEW ZEALAND, UK], for assessing the perceived personalities of rocks, from a sales and marketing perspective.
Physics Prize — Gabor Horvath, Miklos Blaho, Gyorgy Kriska, Ramon Hegedus, Balazs Gerics, Robert Farkas, Susanne Akesson, Peter Malik, and Hansruedi Wildermuth [HUNGARY, SPAIN, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND], for discovering why white-haired horses are the most horsefly-proof horses, and for discovering why dragonflies are fatally attracted to black tombstones.
Chemistry Prize — Volkswagen [GERMANY], for solving the problem of excessive automobile pollution emissions by automatically, electromechanically producing fewer emissions whenever the cars are being tested.
Medicine Prize — Christoph Helmchen, Carina Palzer, Thomas Munte, Silke Anders, and Andreas Sprenger [GERMANY], 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 Prize — Evelyne Debey, Maarten De Schryver, Gordon Logan, Kristina Suchotzki, and Bruno Verschuere [BELGIUM, THE NETHERLANDS, GERMANY, CANADA, USA], for asking a thousand liars how often they lie, and for deciding whether to believe those answers.
Peace Prize — Gordon Pennycook, James Allan Cheyne, Nathaniel Barr, Derek Koehler, and Jonathan Fugelsang [CANADA, USA], for their scholarly study called "On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-Profound Bullshit".
Biology Prize — Charles Foster [UK], for living in the wild as, at different times, a badger, an otter, a deer, a fox, and a bird; Thomas Thwaites [UK], 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 Prize — Fredrik Sjoberg [SWEDEN], for his three-volume autobiographical work about the pleasures of collecting flies that are dead, and flies that are not yet dead.
Perception Prize — Atsuki Higashiyama and Kohei Adachi [JAPAN], for investigating whether things look different when you bend over and view them between your legs.
Chemistry Prize — Callum Ormonde and Colin Raston [AUSTRALIA], and Tom Yuan, Stephan Kudlacek, Sameeran Kunche, Joshua N. Smith, William A. Brown, Kaitlin Pugliese, Tivoli Olsen, Mariam Iftikhar, Gregory Weiss [USA], for inventing a chemical recipe to partially un-boil an egg.
Physics Prize — Patricia Yang [USA and TAIWAN], David Hu [USA and TAIWAN], and Jonathan Pham, Jerome Choo [USA], for testing the biological principle that nearly all mammals empty their bladders in about 21 seconds (plus or minus 13 seconds).
Literature Prize — Mark Dingemanse [THE NETHERLANDS, USA], Francisco Torreira [The Netherlands, Belgium, USA], and Nick J. Enfield [Australia, The Netherlands], for discovering that the word "huh?" (or its equivalent) seems to exist in every human language — and for not being quite sure why.
Management Prize — Gennaro Bernile [Italy, Singapore, USA], Vineet Bhagwat [USA, India], and P. Raghavendra Rau [UK, India, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Japan], for discovering that many business leaders developed in childhood a fondness for risk-taking, when they experienced natural disasters (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and wildfires) that — for them — had no dire personal consequences.
Economics Prize — The Bangkok Metropolitan Police [Thailand], for offering to pay policemen extra cash if the policemen refuse to take bribes.
Medicine Prize — Awarded jointly to two groups: Hajime Kimata [Japan, China]; and to Jaroslava Durdiaková [Slovakia, US, UK], Peter Celec [Slovakia, Germany], Natália Kamodyová, Tatiana Sedlácková, Gabriela Repiská, Barbara Sviežená, and Gabriel Minárik [Slovakia], for experiments to study the biomedical benefits or biomedical consequences of intense kissing (and other intimate, interpersonal activities).
Mathematics Prize — Elisabeth Oberzaucher [Austria, Germany, UK] and Karl Grammer [Austria, Germany], for trying to use mathematical techniques to determine whether and how Moulay Ismael the Bloodthirsty, the Sharifian Emperor of Morocco, managed, during the years from 1697 through 1727, to father 888 children.
Biology Prize — Bruno Grossi, Omar Larach, Mauricio Canals, Rodrigo A. Vásquez [Chile], José Iriarte-Díaz [CHILE, USA], for observing that when you attach a weighted stick to the rear end of a chicken, the chicken then walks in a manner similar to that in which dinosaurs are thought to have walked.
Diagnostic Medicine Prize — Diallah Karim [Canada, UK], Anthony Harnden [New Zealand, UK, US], Nigel D'Souza [Bahrain, Belgium, Dubai, India, South Africa, US, UK], Andrew Huang [China, UK], Abdel Kader Allouni [Syria, UK], Helen Ashdown [UK], Richard J. Stevens [UK], and Simon Kreckler [UK], for determining that acute appendicitis can be accurately diagnosed by the amount of pain evident when the patient is driven over speed bumps.
Physiology and Entomology Prize — Awarded jointly to two individuals: Justin Schmidt [USA, Canada], for painstakingly creating the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, which rates the relative pain people feel when stung by various insects; and to Michael L. Smith [USA, UK, The Netherlands], for carefully arranging for honey bees to sting him repeatedly on 25 different locations on his body, to learn which locations are the least painful (the skull, middle toe tip, and upper arm). and which are the most painful (the nostril, upper lip, and penis shaft).
Physics Prize [Japan]: Kiyoshi Mabuchi, Kensei Tanaka, Daichi Uchijima and Rina Sakai, for measuring the amount of friction between a shoe and a banana skin, and between a banana skin and the floor, when a person steps on a banana skin that's on the floor.
Neuroscience Prize [China, Canada]: Jiangang Liu, Jun Li, Lu Feng, Ling Li, Jie Tian, and Kang Lee, for trying to understand what happens in the brains of people who see the face of Jesus in a piece of toast.
Psychology Prize [Australia, UK, USA]: Peter K. Jonason, Amy Jones, and Minna Lyons, for amassing evidence that people who habitually stay up late are, on average, more self-admiring, more manipulative, and more psychopathic than people who habitually arise early in the morning.
Public Health Prize [Czech Republic, Japan, USA, India]: Jaroslav Flegr, Jan Havlícek and Jitka Hanušova-Lindova, and to David Hanauer, Naren Ramakrishnan, Lisa Seyfried, for investigating whether it is mentally hazardous for a human being to own a cat.
Biology Prize [Czech Republic, Germany, Zambia]: Vlastimil Hart, Petra Nováková, Erich Pascal Malkemper, Sabine Begall, Vladimír Hanzal, Miloš Ježek, Tomáš Kušta, Veronika Nemcová, Jana Adámková, Katerina Benediktová, Jaroslav Cervený and Hynek Burda, for carefully documenting that when dogs defecate and urinate, they prefer to align their body axis with Earth's north-south geomagnetic field lines.
Art Prize [Italy]: Marina de Tommaso, Michele Sardaro, and Paolo Livrea, for measuring the relative pain people suffer while looking at an ugly painting, rather than a pretty painting, while being shot [in the hand] by a powerful laser beam.
Economics Prize [Italy]: ISTAT — the Italian government's National Institute of Statistics, for proudly taking the lead in fulfilling the European Union mandate for each country to increase the official size of its national economy by including revenues from prostitution, illegal drug sales, smuggling, and all other unlawful financial transactions between willing participants.
Medicine Prize [USA, India]: Ian Humphreys, Sonal Saraiya, Walter Belenky and James Dworkin, for treating "uncontrollable" nosebleeds, using the method of nasal-packing-with-strips-of-cured-pork.
Arctic Science Prize [Norway, Germany, USA, Canada]: Eigil Reimers and Sindre Eftestøl, for testing how reindeer react to seeing humans who are disguised as polar bears.
Nutrition Prize [Spain]: Raquel Rubio, Anna Jofré, Belén Martín, Teresa Aymerich, and Margarita Garriga, for their study titled "Characterization of Lactic Acid Bacteria Isolated from Infant Faeces as Potential Probiotic Starter Cultures for Fermented Sausages."
Medicine Prize: Masateru Uchiyama [JAPAN], Xiangyuan Jin [CHINA, JAPAN], Qi Zhang [JAPAN], Toshihito Hirai [JAPAN], Atsushi Amano [JAPAN], Hisashi Bashuda [JAPAN] and Masanori Niimi [JAPAN, UK], for assessing the effect of listening to opera, on heart transplant patients who are mice.
Psychology Prize: Laurent Bègue [FRANCE], Brad Bushman [USA, UK, the NETHERLANDS, POLAND], Oulmann Zerhouni [FRANCE], Baptiste Subra [FRANCE], and Medhi Ourabah [FRANCE], for confirming, by experiment, that people who think they are drunk also think they are attractive.
Joint Prize in Biology and Astronomy: Marie Dacke [SWEDEN, AUSTRALIA], Emily Baird [SWEDEN, AUSTRALIA, GERMANY], Marcus Byrne [SOUTH AFRICA, UK], Clarke Scholtz [SOUTH AFRICA], and Eric J. Warrant [SWEDEN, AUSTRALIA, GERMANY], for discovering that when dung beetles get lost, they can navigate their way home by looking at the Milky Way.
Safety Engineering Prize: The late Gustano Pizzo [USA], for inventing an electro-mechanical system to trap airplane hijackers — the system drops a hijacker through trap doors, seals him into a package, then drops the encapsulated hijacker through the airplane's specially-installed bomb bay doors, whence he parachutes to earth, where police, having been alerted by radio, await his arrival. US Patent #3811643, Gustano A. Pizzo, "anti hijacking system for aircraft", May 21, 1972.
Physics Prize: Alberto Minetti [ITALY, UK, DENMARK, SWITZERLAND], Yuri Ivanenko [ITALY, RUSSIA, FRANCE], Germana Cappellini [ITALY], Nadia Dominici [ITALY, SWITZERLAND], and Francesco Lacquaniti [ITALY], for discovering that some people would be physically capable of running across the surface of a pond — if those people and that pond were on the moon.
Chemistry Prize: Shinsuke Imai [JAPAN], Nobuaki Tsuge [JAPAN], Muneaki Tomotake [JAPAN], Yoshiaki Nagatome [JAPAN], H. Sawada [JAPAN],Toshiyuki Nagata [JAPAN, GERMANY], and Hidehiko Kumgai [JAPAN], for discovering that the biochemical process by which onions make people cry is even more complicated than scientists previously realized.
Archaeology Prize: Brian Crandall [USA] and Peter Stahl [CANADA, USA], for parboiling a dead shrew, and then swallowing the shrew without chewing, and then carefully examining everything excreted during subsequent days — all so they could see which bones would dissolve inside the human digestive system, and which bones would not.
Peace Prize: Alexander Lukashenko, president of Belarus, for making it illegal to applaud in public, AND to the Belarus State Police, for arresting a one-armed man for applauding.
Probability Prize: Bert Tolkamp [UK, the NETHERLANDS], Marie Haskell [UK], Fritha Langford [UK, CANADA], David Roberts [UK], and Colin Morgan [UK], for making two related discoveries: First, that the longer a cow has been lying down, the more likely that cow will soon stand up; and Second, that once a cow stands up, you cannot easily predict how soon that cow will lie down again.
Public Health Prize: Kasian Bhanganada, Tu Chayavatana, Anunt Tonmukayakul, Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, Krit Komaratal, and Henry Wilde, [THAILAND] for the medical techniques described in their report "Surgical Management of an Epidemic of Penile Amputations in Siam" — techniques which they recommend, except in cases where the amputated penis had been partially eaten by a duck.
Psychology: Anita Eerland and Rolf Zwaan [The Netherlands] and Tulio Guadalupe [Peru, Russia, and The Netherlands] for their study "Leaning to the Left Makes the Eiffel Tower Seem Smaller".
Peace: The SKN Company [Russia], for converting old Russian ammunition into new diamonds.
Acoustics: Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada [JAPAN] for creating the SpeechJammer — a machine that disrupts a person's speech, by making them hear their own spoken words at a very slight delay.
Neuroscience: Craig Bennett, Abigail Baird, Michael Miller, and George Wolford [USA], for demonstrating that brain researchers, by using complicated instruments and simple statistics, can see meaningful brain activity anywhere — even in a dead salmon.
Chemistry: Johan Pettersson [Sweden and Rwanda]. for solving the puzzle of why, in certain houses in the town of Anderslov, Sweden, people's hair turned green.
Literature: The US Government General Accountability Office, for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports.
Physics: Joseph Keller [USA], and Raymond Goldstein [USA and UK], Patrick Warren, and Robin Ball [UK], for calculating the balance of forces that shape and move the hair in a human ponytail.
Fluid Dynamics: Rouslan Krechetnikov [USA, RUSSIA, CANADA] and Hans Mayer [USA] for studying the dynamics of liquid-sloshing, to learn what happens when a person walks while carrying a cup of coffee.
Anatomy: Frans de Waal [The Netherlands and USA] and Jennifer Pokorny [USA] for discovering that chimpanzees can identify other chimpanzees individually from seeing photographs of their rear ends.
Medicine: Emmanuel Ben-Soussan and Michel Antonietti [France] for advising doctors who perform colonoscopies how to minimize the chance that their patients will explode.
Physiology: Anna Wilkinson (of the UK), Natalie Sebanz (of The Netherlands, Hungary, and Austria), Isabella Mandl (of Austria) and Ludwig Huber (of Austria) for their study "No Evidence of Contagious Yawning in the Red-Footed Tortoise."
Chemistry: Makoto Imai, Naoki Urushihata, Hideki Tanemura, Yukinobu Tajima, Hideaki Goto, Koichiro Mizoguchi and Junichi Murakami of Japan, for determining the ideal density of airborne wasabi (pungent horseradish) to awaken sleeping people in case of a fire or other emergency, and for applying this knowledge to invent the wasabi alarm.
Medicine: Mirjam Tuk (of The Netherlands and the UK), Debra Trampe (of The Netherlands) and Luk Warlop (of Belgium), and jointly to Matthew Lewis, Peter Snyder and Robert Feldman (of the USA), Robert Pietrzak, David Darby, and Paul Maruff (of Australia) for demonstrating that people make better decisions about some kinds of things — but worse decisions about other kinds of things‚ when they have a strong urge to urinate.
Psychology: Karl Halvor Teigen of the University of Oslo, Norway, for trying to understand why, in everyday life, people sigh.
Literature: John Perry of Stanford University, USA, for his Theory of Structured Procrastination, which says: To be a high achiever, always work on something important, using it as a way to avoid doing something that's even more important.
Biology: Darryl Gwynne (of Canada and Australia and the UK and the USA) and David Rentz (of Australia and the USA) for discovering that a certain kind of beetle mates with a certain kind of Australian beer bottle.
Physics: Philippe Perrin, Cyril Perrot, Dominique Deviterne and Bruno Ragaru (of France), and Herman Kingma (of The Netherlands), for determining why discus throwers become dizzy, and why hammer throwers don't.
Mathematics: Dorothy Martin of the USA (who predicted the world would end in 1954), Pat Robertson of the USA (who predicted the world would end in 1982), Elizabeth Clare Prophet of the USA (who predicted the world would end in 1990), Lee Jang Rim of Korea (who predicted the world would end in 1992), Credonia Mwerinde of Ugande (who predicted the world would end in 1999), and Harold Camping of the USA (who predicted the world would end on September 6, 1994 and later predicted that the world will end on October 21, 2011), for teaching the world to be careful when making mathematical assumptions and calculations.
Peace: Arturas Zuokas, the mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania, for demonstrating that the problem of illegally parked luxury cars can be solved by running them over with an armored tank.
Public Safety: John Senders of the University of Toronto, Canada, for conducting a series of safety experiments in which a person drives an automobile on a major highway while a visor repeatedly flaps down over his face, blinding him.
Physics: Lianne Parkin, Sheila Williams, and Patricia Priest of the University of Otago, New Zealand, for demonstrating that, on icy footpaths in wintertime, people slip and fall less often if they wear socks on the outside of their shoes.
Engineering:Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse and Agnes Rocha-Gosselin of the Zoological Society of London, UK, and Diane Gendron of Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Baja California Sur, Mexico, for perfecting a method to collect whale snot, using a remote-control helicopter.
Medicine: Simon Rietveld of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Ilja van Beest of Tilburg University, The Netherlands, for discovering that symptoms of asthma can be treated with a roller-coaster ride.
Transportation Planning: Toshiyuki Nakagaki, Atsushi Tero, Seiji Takagi, Tetsu Saigusa, Kentaro Ito, Kenji Yumiki, Ryo Kobayashi of Japan, and Dan Bebber, Mark Fricker of the UK, for using slime mold to determine the optimal routes for railroad tracks.
Peace: Richard Stephens, John Atkins, and Andrew Kingston of Keele University, UK, for confirming the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain.
Public Health: Manuel Barbeito, Charles Mathews, and Larry Taylor of the Industrial Health and Safety Office, Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA, for determining by experiment that microbes cling to bearded scientists.
Economics: The executives and directors of Goldman Sachs, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, and Magnetar for creating and promoting new ways to invest money — ways that maximize financial gain and minimize financial risk for the world economy, or for a portion thereof.
Chemistry: Eric Adams of MIT, Scott Socolofsky of Texas A&M University, Stephen Masutani of the University of Hawaii, and BP [British Petroleum], for disproving the old belief that oil and water don't mix.
Management: Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, and Cesare Garofalo of the University of Catania, Italy, for demonstrating mathematically that organizations would become more efficient if they promoted people at random.
Biology: Libiao Zhang, Min Tan, Guangjian Zhu, Jianping Ye, Tiyu Hong, Shanyi Zhou, and Shuyi Zhang of China, and Gareth Jones of the University of Bristol, UK, for scientifically documenting fellatio in fruit bats.
Chemistry: Javier Morales, Miguel Apátiga, and Victor M. Castaño of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, for creating diamonds from liquid — specifically from tequila.
Physics: Katherine K. Whitcome of the University of Cincinnati, USA, Daniel E. Lieberman of Harvard University, USA, and Liza J. Shapiro of the University of Texas, USA, for analytically determining why pregnant women don't tip over.
Medicine: Donald L. Unger, of Thousand Oaks, California, USA, for investigating a possible cause of arthritis of the fingers, by diligently cracking the knuckles of his left hand — but never cracking the knuckles of his right hand — every day for more than sixty (60) years.
Literature: Ireland's police service (An Garda Siochana), for writing and presenting more than fifty traffic tickets to the most frequent driving offender in the country — Prawo Jazdy — whose name in Polish means "Driving License.
Veterinary Medicine: Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK, for showing that cows who have names give more milk than cows that are nameless.
Peace: Stephan Bolliger, Steffen Ross, Lars Oesterhelweg, Michael Thali and Beat Kneubuehl of the University of Bern, Switzerland, for — experimental — determining whether it is better to be smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or with an empty bottle.
Economics: The directors, executives, and auditors of four Icelandic banks — Kaupthing Bank, Landsbanki, Glitnir Bank, and Central Bank of Iceland — for demonstrating that tiny banks can be rapidly transformed into huge banks, and vice versa — and for demonstrating that similar things can be done to an entire national economy.
Public Health: Elena N. Bodnar, Raphael C. Lee, and Sandra Marijan of Chicago, Illinois, USA, for inventing a brassiere that, in an emergency, can be quickly converted into a pair of protective face masks, one for the brassiere wearer and one to be given to some needy bystander.
Biology: Fumiaki Taguchi, Song Guofu, and Zhang Guanglei of Kitasato University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Sagamihara, Japan, for demonstrating that kitchen refuse can be reduced more than 90% in mass by using bacteria extracted from the feces of giant pandas.
Mathematics: Gideon Gono, governor of Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank, for giving people a simple, everyday way to cope with a wide range of numbers — from very small to very big — by having his bank print bank notes with denominations ranging from one cent ($.01) to one hundred trillion dollars ($100,000,000,000,000).
Chemistry: Sharee A. Umpierre of the University of Puerto Rico, Joseph A. Hill of The Fertility Centers of New England (USA), Deborah J. Anderson of Boston University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School (USA), for discovering that Coca-Cola is an effective spermicide, and to Chuang-Ye Hong of Taipei Medical University (Taiwan), C.C. Shieh, P. Wu, and B.N. Chiang (all of Taiwan) for discovering that it is not. Please, see the details
Physics: Dorian Raymer of the Ocean Observatories Initiative at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA, and Douglas Smith of the University of California, San Diego, USA, for proving mathematically that heaps of string or hair or almost anything else will inevitably tangle themselves up in knots.
Literature: David Sims of Cass Business School. London, UK, for his lovingly written study "You Bastard: A Narrative Exploration of the Experience of Indignation within Organizations."
Biology: Marie-Christine Cadiergues, Christel Joubert, and Michel Franc of Ecole Nationale Veterinaire de Toulouse, France for discovering that the fleas that live on a dog can jump higher than the fleas that live on a cat.
Nutrition: Massimiliano Zampini of the University of Trento, Italy and Charles Spence of Oxford University, UK, for electronically modifying the sound of a potato chip to make the person chewing the chip believe it to be crisper and fresher than it really is.
Peace: The Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology (ECNH) and the citizens of Switzerland for adopting the legal principle that plants have dignity.
Economics: Geoffrey Miller, Joshua Tybur and Brent Jordan of the University of New Mexico, USA, for discovering that professional lap dancers earn higher tips when they are ovulating.
Archaeology: Astolfo G. Mello Araujo and José Carlos Marcelino of Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil, for measuring how the course of history, or at least the contents of an archaeological dig site, can be scrambled by the actions of a live armadillo.
Medicine: Dan Ariely of Duke University (USA), Rebecca L. Waber of MIT (USA), Baba Shiv of Stanford University (USA), and Ziv Carmon of INSEAD (Singapore) for demonstrating that high-priced fake medicine is more effective than low-priced fake medicine.
Cognitive Science: Toshiyuki Nakagaki of Hokkaido University, Japan, Hiroyasu Yamada of Nagoya, Japan, Ryo Kobayashi of Hiroshima University, Atsushi Tero of Presto JST, Akio Ishiguro of Tohoku University, and Ágotá Tóth of the University of Szeged, Hungary, for discovering that slime molds can solve puzzles.
Medicine: Brian Witcombe of Gloucester, UK, and Dan Meyer of Antioch, Tennessee, USA, for their penetrating medical report "Sword Swallowing and Its Side Effects."
Physics: L. Mahadevan of Harvard University, USA, and Enrique Cerda Villablanca of Universidad de Santiago de Chile, for studying how sheets become wrinkled.
Biology: Prof. Dr. Johanna E.M.H. van Bronswijk of Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, for doing a census of all the mites, insects, spiders, pseudoscorpions, crustaceans, bacteria, algae, ferns and fungi with whom we share our beds each night.
Chemistry: Mayu Yamamoto of the International Medical Center of Japan, for developing a way to extract vanillin -- vanilla fragrance and flavoring -- from cow dung.
Linguistics: Juan Manuel Toro, Josep B. Trobalon and Nuria Sebastian-Galles of Universitat de Barcelona, for showing that rats sometimes cannot tell the difference between a person speaking Japanese backwards and a person speaking Dutch backwards.
Literature: Glenda Browne of Blaxland, Blue Mountains, Australia, for her study of the word "the" -- and of the many ways it causes problems for anyone who tries to put things into alphabetical order.
Peace: The Air Force Wright Laboratory, Dayton, Ohio, USA, for instigating research & development on a chemical weapon -- the so-called "gay bomb" -- that will make enemy soldiers become sexually irresistible to each other.
Nutrition: Brian Wansink of Cornell University, for exploring the seemingly boundless appetites of human beings, by feeding them with a self-refilling, bottomless bowl of soup.
Economics: Kuo Cheng Hsieh, of Taichung, Taiwan, for patenting a device, in the year 2001, that catches bank robbers by dropping a net over them.
Aviation: Patricia V. Agostino, Santiago A. Plano and Diego A. Golombek of Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Argentina, for their discovery that Viagra aids jetlag recovery in hamsters.
Acoustics: D. Lynn Halpern of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, and Brandeis University, and Northwestern University, Randolph Blake of Vanderbilt University and Northwestern University and James Hillenbrand of Western Michigan University and Northwestern University for conducting experiments to learn why people dislike the sound of fingernails scraping on a blackboard.
Biology: Bart Knols of Wageningen Agricultural University, in Wageningen, the Netherlands; and of the National Institute for Medical Research / Ifakara Centre, Tanzania, and of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in Vienna, Austria) and Ruurd de Jong of Wageningen Agricultural University and of Santa Maria degli Angeli, Italy for showing that the female malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae is attracted equally to the smell of limburger cheese and to the smell of human feet.
Chemistry: Antonio Mulet, JosA© Javier Benedito and JosA© Bon of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain, and Carmen RossellA? of the University of Illes Balears, in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, for their study "Ultrasonic Velocity in Cheddar Cheese as Affected by Temperature."
Literature: Daniel Oppenheimer of Princeton University for his report "Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly."
Mathematics: Nic Svenson and Piers Barnes of the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, for calculating the number of photographs must be taken to (almost) ensure that nobody in a group photo will have their eyes closed.
Medicine: Francis M. Fesmire of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, for his medical case report "Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage"; and Majed Odeh, Harry Bassan, and Arie Oliven of Bnai Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel, for their subsequent medical case report also titled "Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage."
Nutrition: Wasmia Al-Houty of Kuwait University and Faten Al-Mussalam of the Kuwait Environment Public Authority, for showing that dung beetles are finicky eaters.
Ornithology: Ivan R. Schwab, of the University of California Davis, and Philip R.A. May of the University of California Los Angeles, for exploring and explaining why woodpeckers don't get headaches.
Peace: Howard Stapleton of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, for inventing an electromechanical teenager repellant - a device that makes annoying high-pitched noise designed to be audible to teenagers but not to adults; and for later using that same technology to make telephone ringtones that are audible to teenagers but probably not to their teachers.
Physics: Basile Audoly and Sebastien Neukirch of the UniversitA© Pierre et Marie Curie, in Paris, for their insights into why, when dry spaghetti is bent, it often breaks into more than two pieces.
Agricultural History: Presented to James Watson of Massey University, New Zealand, for his scholarly study, "The Significance of Mr. Richard Buckley's Exploding Trousers."
Fluid Dynamics: Presented jointly to Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow of International University Bremen, Germany and the University of Oulu, Finland; and JA?zsef GA?l of LorA?nd EAtvAs University, Hungary, for using basic principles of physics to calculate the pressure that builds up inside a penguin, as detailed in their report "Pressures Produced When Penguins Poo - Calculations on Avian Defecation."
Illustration for the paper "Pressures Produced When Penguins Poo: Calculations on Avian Defecation". From the site www.neatorama.com)
Physics: Presented jointly to John Mainstone and Thomas Parnell of the University of Queensland, Australia, for patiently conducting the so-called pitch drop experiment that began in the year 1927 - in which a glob of congealed black tar pitch has been slowly, slowly dripping through a funnel, at a rate of approximately one drop every nine years.
Medicine: Presented to Gregg A. Miller of Oak Grove, Missouri, in the U.S.A., for inventing Neuticles -- artificial replacement testicles for dogs, which are available in three sizes, and three degrees of firmness.
Literature: Presented to the Internet entrepreneurs of Nigeria, for creating and then using e-mail to distribute a bold series of short stories, thus introducing millions of readers to a cast of rich characters - General Sani Abacha, Mrs. Mariam Sanni Abacha, Barrister Jon A Mbeki Esq., and others - each of whom requires just a small amount of expense money so as to obtain access to the great wealth to which they are entitled and which they would like to share with the kind person who assists them. (See advance fee fraud.)
Peace: Presented jointly to Claire Rind and Peter Simmons of University of Newcastle, in the UK, for electrically monitoring the activity of a brain cell in a locust while that locust was watching selected highlights from the movie "Star Wars."
Economics: Presented to Gauri Nanda of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for inventing an alarm clock that runs away and hides, repeatedly, thus ensuring that people DO get out of bed, and thus theoretically adding many productive hours to the workday.
Chemistry: Presented jointly to Edward Cussler of the University of Minnesota and Brian Gettelfinger of the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, for conducting a careful experiment to settle the longstanding scientific question: can people swim faster in syrup or in water? It was found that the increase in drag in a syrup pool is canceled out by the increase in "push" a swimmer gets on each stroke.
Biology: Presented jointly to Benjamin Smith of the University of Adelaide, Australia and the University of Toronto, Canada and the Firmenich perfume company, Geneva, Switzerland, and ChemComm Enterprises, Archamps, France; Craig Williams of James Cook University and the University of South Australia; Michael Tyler of the University of Adelaide; Brian Williams of the University of Adelaide; and Yoji Hayasaka of the Australian Wine Research Institute; for painstakingly smelling and cataloging the peculiar odors produced by 131 different species of frogs when the frogs were feeling stressed.
Nutrition: Presented to Dr. Yoshiro Nakamatsu of Tokyo, Japan, for photographing and retrospectively analyzing every meal he has consumed during a period of 34 years (and counting).
Engineering: Presented jointly to Donald J. Smith and his father, Frank J. Smith, of Orlando, Florida, for patenting the comb over (U.S. Patent )
Literature: Presented to The American Nudist Research Library of Kissimmee, Florida, for preserving nudist history so that everyone can see it.
Psychology: Presented jointly to Daniel Simons of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Christopher Chabris of Harvard University, for demonstrating that when people pay close attention to something, it's all too easy to overlook anything else - even a woman in a gorilla suit. (see inattentional blindness)
Medicine: Presented jointly to Steven Stack of Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, and James Gundlach of Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, for their published report "The Effect of Country Music on Suicide."
Physics: Presented jointly to Ramesh Balasubramaniam of the University of Ottawa, and Michael Turvey of the University of Connecticut and Haskins Laboratory, for exploring and explaining the dynamics of hula-hooping.
Economics: Presented to The Vatican, for outsourcing prayers to India.
Peace: Presented to Daisuke Inoue of Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, for inventing karaoke, thereby providing an entirely new way for people to learn to tolerate each other.
Biology: Presented to Ben Wilson of the University of British Columbia, Lawrence Dill of Simon Fraser University, Canada, Robert Batty of the Scottish Association for Marine Science, Magnus Whalberg of the University of Aarhus, Denmark, and Hakan Westerberg of Sweden's National Board of Fisheries, for showing that herrings apparently communicate by farting.
Public Health: Presented to Jillian Clarke of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, and then Howard University, for investigating the scientific validity of the five-second rule about whether it's safe to eat food that's been dropped on the floor.
Chemistry: Presented to The Coca-Cola Company of Great Britain, for using advanced technology to convert liquid from the River Thames into Dasani, a transparent form of water, which for precautionary reasons has been made unavailable to consumers.
Engineering: Presented to John Paul Stapp, Edward A. Murphy, Jr., and George Nichols, for jointly giving birth in 1949 to Murphy's Law, the basic engineering principle that "If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in a catastrophe, someone will do it" (or, in other words: "If anything can go wrong, it will").
Physics: Presented to Jack Harvey, John Culveno, Warren Payne, Steve Cowle, Michael Lawrance, David Stuart, and Robyn Williams of Australia, for their irresistible report "An Analysis of the Forces Required to Drag Sheep over Various Surfaces."
Robots will help us really to "drag sheep over various surfaces". From the site www.culvenor.com.
Medicine: Presented to Eleanor Maguire, David Gadian, Ingrid Johnsrude, Catriona Good, John Ashburner, Richard Frackowiak, and Christopher Frith of University College London, for presenting evidence that the brains of London taxi drivers are more highly developed than those of their fellow citizens.
Psychology: Presented to Gian Vittorio Caprara and Claudio Barbaranelli of the University of Rome La Sapienza, and to Philip Zimbardo of Stanford University, for their discerning report "Politicians' Uniquely Simple Personalities."
Chemistry: Presented to Yukio Hirose of Kanazawa University, for his chemical investigation of a bronze statue, in the city of Kanazawa, that fails to attract pigeons.
Literature: Presented to John Trinkaus, of the Zicklin School of Business, New York City, for meticulously collecting data and publishing more than 80 detailed academic reports about things that annoyed him, such as: What percentage of young people wear baseball caps with the peak facing to the rear rather than to the front; What percentage of pedestrians wear sport shoes that are white rather than some other color; What percentage of swimmers swim laps in the shallow end of a pool rather than the deep end; What percentage of automobile drivers almost, but not completely, come to a stop at one particular stop-sign; What percentage of commuters carry attachA© cases; What percentage of shoppers exceed the number of items permitted in a supermarket's express checkout lane; and what percentage of students dislike the taste of Brussels sprouts.
Economics: Presented to Karl SchwA¤rzler and the nation of Liechtenstein, for making it possible to rent the entire country for corporate conventions, weddings, bar mitzvahs, and other gatherings.
Interdisciplinary Research: Presented to Stefano Ghirlanda, Liselotte Jansson, and Magnus Enquis of Stockholm University, for their inevitable report "Chickens Prefer Beautiful Humans."
Peace: Presented to Lal Bihari, of Uttar Pradesh, India, for a triple accomplishment: First, for leading an active life even though he has been declared legally dead; second, for waging a lively posthumous campaign against bureaucratic inertia and greedy relatives; and third, for creating the Association of Dead People. Lal Bihari overcame the handicap of being dead, and managed to obtain a passport from the Indian government so that he could travel to Harvard to accept his Prize. However, the U.S. government refused to allow him into the country. His friend Madhu Kapoor therefore came to the Ig Nobel Ceremony and accepted the Prize on behalf of Lal Bihari. Several weeks later, the Prize was presented to Lal Bihari himself in a special ceremony in India.
Biology: Presented to C.W. Moeliker, of Natuurmuseum Rotterdam, for documenting the first scientifically recorded case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard duck.
Biology: Presented to Norma E. Bubier, Charles G.M. Paxton, Phil Bowers, and D. Charles Deeming of the United Kingdom, for their report "Courtship Behaviour of Ostriches Towards Humans Under Farming Conditions in Britain."
Physics: Presented to Arnd Leike of the University of Munich, for demonstrating that beer froth obeys the Mathematical Law of Exponential Decay.
Interdisciplinary Research: Presented to Karl Kruszelnicki of The University of Sydney, for performing a comprehensive survey of human belly button fluff - who gets it, when, what color, and how much.
Chemistry: Presented to Theodore Gray of Wolfram Research, in Champaign, Illinois, for gathering many elements of the periodic table, and assembling them into the form of a four-legged periodic table table.
Mathematics: Presented to K.P. Sreekumar and G. Nirmalan of Kerala Agricultural University, India, for their analytical report "Estimation of the Total Surface Area in Indian Elephants."
Literature: Presented jointly to Vicki L. Silvers of the University of Nevada-Reno and David S. Kreiner of Central Missouri State University, for their colorful report "The Effects of Pre-Existing Inappropriate Highlighting on Reading Comprehension."
Peace: Presented to Keita Sato, President of Takara Co., Dr. Matsumi Suzuki, President of Japan Acoustic Lab, and Dr. Norio Kogure, Executive Director, Kogure Veterinary Hospital, for promoting peace and harmony between the species by inventing Bow-Lingual, a computer-based automatic dog-to-human language translation device.
Hygiene: Presented to Eduardo Segura, of Lavakan de Aste, in Tarragona, Spain, for inventing a washing machine for cats and dogs.
Economics: Presented to the executives, corporate directors, and auditors of Enron, Lernaut & Hauspie (Belgium), Adelphia, Bank of Commerce and Credit International (Pakistan), Cendant, CMS Energy, Duke Energy, Dynegy, Gazprom (Russia), Global Crossing, HIH Insurance (Australia), Informix, Kmart, Maxwell Communications (UK), McKessonHBOC, Merrill Lynch, Merck, Peregrine Systems, Qwest Communications, Reliant Resources, Rent-Way, Rite Aid, Sunbeam, Tyco, Waste Management, WorldCom, Xerox, and Arthur Andersen, for adapting the mathematical concept of imaginary numbers for use in the business world. (All companies are U.S.-based unless otherwise noted.)
Medicine: Presented to Chris McManus of University College London, for his excruciatingly balanced report, "Scrotal Asymmetry in Man and in Ancient Sculpture."
Medicine: Presented to Peter Barss of McGill University, Canada, for his impactful medical report "Injuries Due to Falling Coconuts."
Physics: Presented to David Schmidt of the University of Massachusetts, for his partial explanation of the shower-curtain effect: a shower curtain tends to billow inwards while a shower is being taken.
Biology: Presented to Buck Weimer of Pueblo, Colorado for inventing Under-Ease, airtight underwear with a replaceable charcoal filter that removes bad-smelling gases before they escape.
Economics: Presented to Joel Slemrod, of the University of Michigan Business School, and Wojciech Kopczuk, of the University of British Columbia, for their conclusion that people find a way to postpone their deaths if that would qualify them for a lower rate on the inheritance tax.
Literature: Presented to John Richards of Boston, England, founder of The Apostrophe Protection Society, for his efforts to protect, promote, and defend the differences between the plural and the possessive.
Psychology: Presented to Lawrence W. Sherman of Miami University, Ohio, for his influential research report "An Ecological Study of Glee in Small Groups of Preschool Children."
Astrophysics: Presented to Dr. Jack Van Impe and Rexella Van Impe of Jack Van Impe Ministries, Rochester Hills, Michigan, for their discovery that black holes fulfill all the technical requirements for the location of Hell.
Peace: Presented to Viliumas Malinauskas of Grutas, Lithuania, for creating the amusement park known as "Stalin World".
Technology: Presented jointly to John Keogh of Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia, for patenting the wheel in the year 2001, and to the Australian Patent Office for granting him Innovation Patent #2001100012.
Public Health: Presented to Chittaranjan Andrade and B.S. Srihari of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India, for their probing medical discovery that nose picking is a common activity among adolescents.
Psychology: Presented to David Dunning of Cornell University and Justin Kreuger of the University of Illinois, for their modest report, "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments."
Literature: Presented to Jasmuheen (formerly known as Ellen Greve) of Australia, first lady of Breatharianism, for her book Living on Light, which explains that although some people do eat food, they don't ever really need to.
Biology: Presented to Richard Wassersug of Dalhousie University, for his firsthand report, "On the Comparative Palatability of Some Dry-Season Tadpoles from Costa Rica."
Physics: Presented to Andre Geim of the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and Sir Michael Berry of Bristol University, England, for using magnets to levitate a frog and a sumo wrestler.
Chemistry: Presented to Donatella Marazziti, Alessandra Rossi, and Giovanni B. Cassano of the University of Pisa, Italy, and Hagop S. Akiskal of the University of California, San Diego, for their discovery that, biochemically, romantic love may be indistinguishable from having severe obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Economics: Presented to The Reverend Sun Myung Moon, for bringing efficiency and steady growth to the mass marriage industry, with, according to his reports, a 36-couple wedding in 1960, a 430-couple wedding in 1968, an 1800-couple wedding in 1975, a 6000-couple wedding in 1982, a 30,000-couple wedding in 1992, a 360,000-couple wedding in 1995, and a 36,000,000-couple wedding in 1997.
Medicine: Presented to Willibrord Weijmar Schultz, Pek van Andel, and Eduard Mooyaart of Groningen, the Netherlands, and Ida Sabelis of Amsterdam, for their illuminating report, "Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Male and Female Genitals During Coitus and Female Sexual Arousal."
Computer Science: Presented to Chris Niswander of Tucson, Arizona, for inventing PawSense, software that detects when a cat is walking across your computer keyboard.
Peace: Presented to The British Royal Navy, for ordering its sailors to stop using live cannon shells, and to instead just shout "Bang!"
Public Health: Presented to Jonathan Wyatt, Gordon McNaughton, and William Tullet of Glasgow, for their alarming report, "The Collapse of Toilets in Glasgow."
Sociology: Presented to Steve Penfold, of York University in Toronto, for doing his Ph.D. thesis on the history of Canadian donut shops.
A women in childbirth on rotating table. From the site www.cmaj.ca.
Managed Health Care: Presented to George Blonsky and Charlotte Blonsky of New York City and San Jose, California, for inventing a device (U.S. Patent ) to aid women in giving birth - the woman is strapped onto a circular table, and the table is then rotated at high speed.
Physics: Presented to Dr. Len Fisher of Bath, England and Sydney, Australia for calculating the optimal way to dunk a biscuit. Also, to Professor Jean-Marc Vanden-Broeck of the University of East Anglia, England, and Belgium, for calculating how to make a teapot spout that does not drip.
Literature: Presented to the British Standards Institution for its six-page specification (BS 6008) of the proper way to make a cup of tea.
Science Education: Presented to the Kansas State Board of Education and the Colorado State Board of Education, for mandating that children should not believe in Darwin's theory of evolution any more than they believe in Newton's theory of gravitation, Faraday's and Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism, or Pasteur's theory that germs cause disease.
Medicine: Presented to Dr. Arvid Vatle of Stord, Norway, for carefully collecting, classifying, and contemplating which kinds of containers his patients chose when submitting urine samples.
Chemistry: Presented to Takeshi Makino, president of The Safety Detective Agency in Osaka, Japan, for his involvement with S-Check, an infidelity detection spray that wives can apply to their husbands' underwear.
Biology: Presented to Dr. Paul Bosland, director of The Chili Pepper Institute, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, for breeding a spiceless jalapeA±o chili pepper.
Environmental Protection: Presented to Hyuk-ho Kwon of Kolon Company of Seoul, South Korea, for inventing the self-perfuming business suit.
Peace: Presented to Charl Fourie and Michelle Wong of Johannesburg, South Africa, for inventing the Blaster, an automobile burglar alarm consisting of a detection circuit and a flamethrower.
Safety Engineering: Presented to Troy Hurtubise, of North Bay, Ontario, for developing and personally testing a suit of armor that is impervious to grizzly bears.
The information collected by Jacques Benveniste. From the site www.digibio.com.
Chemistry: Presented to Jacques Benveniste of France, for his homeopathic discovery that not only does water have memory, but that the information can be transmitted over telephone lines and the Internet.
Biology: Presented to Peter Fong of Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for contributing to the happiness of clams by giving them Prozac.
Peace: Presented to Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, for their aggressively peaceful explosions of atomic bombs.
Science Education: Presented to Dolores Krieger, Professor Emerita, New York University, for demonstrating the merits of therapeutic touch, a method by which nurses manipulate the energy fields of ailing patients by carefully avoiding physical contact with those patients.
Statistics: Presented to Jerald Bain of Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto and Kerry Siminoski of the University of Alberta, for their carefully measured report, "The Relationship Among Height, Penile Length, and Foot Size."
Physics: Presented to Deepak Chopra of The Chopra Center for Well Being, La Jolla, California, for his unique interpretation of quantum physics as it applies to life, liberty, and the pursuit of economic happiness.
Economics: Presented to Richard Seed of Chicago for his efforts to stoke up the world economy by cloning himself and other human beings.
Medicine: Presented to Patient Y and to his doctors, Caroline Mills, Meirion Llewelyn, David Kelly, and Peter Holt, of Royal Gwent Hospital, in Newport for the cautionary medical report, "A Man Who Pricked His Finger and Smelled Putrid for 5 Years."
Literature: Presented to Dr. Mara Sidoli of Washington, DC, for her illuminating report, "Farting as a Defence Against Unspeakable Dread."
Meteorology: Presented to Bernard Vonnegut of the State University of New York at Albany, for his report, "Chicken Plucking as Measure of Tornado Wind Speed."
Biology: Presented to T. Yagyu and his colleagues from the University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland, the Kansai Medical University in Osaka, Japan, and the Neuroscience Technology Research in Prague, Czech Republic, for measuring people's brainwave patterns while they chewed different flavors of gum. 
Entomology: Presented to Mark Hostetler of the University of Florida, for his book, That Gunk on Your Car, which identifies the insect splats that appear on automobile windows.
Astronomy: Presented to Richard C. Hoagland of New Jersey, for identifying artificial features on the moon and on Mars, including a human face on Mars and ten-mile high buildings on the far side of the moon.
Communications: Presented to Sanford Wallace, president of Cyber Promotions of Philadelphia. Nothing has stopped this self-appointed courier from delivering electronic junk mail to all the world.
Physics: Presented to John Bockris of Texas A&M University, for his achievements in cold fusion, in the transmutation of base elements into gold, and in the electrochemical incineration of domestic rubbish.
Literature: Presented to Doron Witztum, Eliyahu Rips, and Yoav Rosenberg of Israel, and to Michael Drosnin of the United States, for their statistical discovery that the Bible contains a secret, hidden code.
Medicine: Presented to Carl J. Charnetski and Francis X. Brennan, Jr. of Wilkes University, and James F. Harrison of Muzak Ltd. in Seattle, Washington, for their discovery that listening to Muzak stimulates immunity system production and thus may help prevent the common cold.
Economics: Presented to Akihiro Yokoi of Wiz Company in Chiba, Japan, and Aki Maita of Bandai Company in Tokyo, for diverting millions of person-hours of work into the husbandry of virtual pets.
Peace: Presented to Harold Hillman of the University of Surrey, England, for his report "The Possible Pain Experienced During Execution by Different Methods."
Biology: Presented jointly to Anders Barheim and Hogne Sandvik of the University of Bergen, Norway, for their report, "Effect of Ale, Garlic, and Soured Cream on the Appetite of Leeches."
Medicine: Presented to James Johnston of R.J. Reynolds, Joseph Taddeo of U.S. Tobacco, Andrew Tisch of Lorillard, William Campbell of Philip Morris, Edward A. Horrigan of Liggett Group, Donald S. Johnston of American Tobacco Company, and Thomas E. Sandefur, Jr., chairman of Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company, for their unshakable discovery, as testified to the U.S. Congress, that nicotine is not addictive.
Physics: Presented to Robert Matthews of Aston University, England, for his studies of Murphy's Law, and especially for demonstrating that toast often falls on the buttered side.
Peace: Presented to Jacques Chirac, President of France, for commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Hiroshima with atomic bomb tests in the Pacific.
Public Health: Presented to Ellen Kleist of Nuuk, Greenland and Harald Moi of Oslo, Norway, for their cautionary medical report "Transmission of Gonorrhea Through an Inflatable Doll."
Chemistry: Presented to George Goble of Purdue University, for his blistering world record time for igniting a barbeque grill: three seconds, using charcoal and liquid oxygen.
Biodiversity: Presented to Chonosuke Okamura of the Okamura Fossil Laboratory in Nagoya, Japan, for discovering the fossils of dinosaurs, horses, dragons, princesses, and more than one thousand other extinct "mini-species," each of which less than 0.25 mm in length.
Literature: Presented to the editors of the journal Social Text for eagerly publishing research that they could not understand, that the author said was meaningless, and which claimed that reality does not exist. (see Sokal Affair for details)
Economics: Presented to Dr. Robert J. Genco of the University at Buffalo for his discovery that "financial strain is a risk indicator for destructive periodontal disease."
Art: Presented to Don Featherstone of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, for his ornamentally evolutionary invention, the plastic pink flamingo.
Nutrition: Presented to John Martinez of J. Martinez & Company in Atlanta, for Luak Coffee, the world's most expensive coffee, which is made from coffee beans ingested and excreted by the luak, a bobcat-like animal native to Indonesia.
Physics: Presented to Dominique M.R. Georget, R. Parker, and Andrew C. Smith of Norwich, England, for their rigorous analysis of soggy breakfast cereal. It was published in the report entitled "A Study of the Effects of Water Content on the Compaction Behaviour of Breakfast Cereal Flakes."
Economics: Presented jointly to Nick Leeson and his superiors at Barings Bank and to Robert Citron of Orange County, California for using the calculus of derivatives to demonstrate that every financial institution has its limits.
Medicine: Presented to Marcia E. Buebel, David S. Shannahoff-Khalsa, and Michael R. Boyle, for their study entitled "The Effects of Unilateral Forced Nostril Breathing on Cognition."
Literature:Presented to David B. Busch and James R. Starling, of Madison, Wisconsin, for their research report, "Rectal Foreign Bodies: Case Reports and a Comprehensive Review of the World's Literature." The citations include reports of, among other items: seven light bulbs; a knife sharpener; two flashlights; a wire spring; a snuff box; an oil can with potato stopper; eleven different forms of fruits, vegetables and other foodstuffs; a jeweler's saw; a frozen pig's tail; a tin cup; a beer glass; and one patient's remarkable ensemble collection consisting of spectacles, a suitcase key, a tobacco pouch and a magazine.
Peace: Presented to the Taiwan National Parliament, for demonstrating that politicians gain more by punching, kicking and gouging each other than by waging war against other nations.
Psychology: Presented to Shigeru Watanabe, Junko Sakamoto, and Masumi Wakita, of Keio University, for their success in training pigeons to discriminate between the paintings of Picasso and those of Monet.
Public Health: Presented to Martha Kold Bakkevig of Sintef Unimed in Trondheim, Norway, and Ruth Nielson of the Technical University of Denmark, for their exhaustive study, "Impact of Wet Underwear on Thermoregulatory Responses and Thermal Comfort in the Cold."
Dentistry: Presented to Robert H. Beaumont, of Shoreview, Minnesota, for his incisive study "Patient Preference for Waxed or Unwaxed Dental Floss."
Chemistry: Presented to Bijan Pakzad of Beverly Hills, for creating DNA Cologne and DNA Perfume, neither of which contain deoxyribonucleic acid, and both of which come in a triple helix bottle.
Biology: Presented to W. Brian Sweeney, Brian Krafte-Jacobs, Jeffrey W. Britton, and Wayne Hansen, for their breakthrough study, "The Constipated Serviceman: Prevalence Among Deployed US Troops," and especially for their numerical analysis of bowel movement frequency.
Peace: Presented to John Hagelin of Maharishi University and The Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy, for his experimental conclusion that 4,000 trained meditators caused an 18 percent decrease in violent crime in Washington, D.C.
Medicine: Two prizes. First, to Patient X, formerly of the US Marine Corps, valiant victim of a venomous bite from his pet rattlesnake, for his determined use of electroshock therapy. At his own insistence, automobile sparkplug wires were attached to his lip, and the car engine revved to 3,000 rpm for five minutes. Second, to Dr. Richard C. Dart of the Rocky Mountain Poison Center and Dr. Richard A. Gustafson of The University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, for their well-grounded medical report, "Failure of Electric Shock Treatment for Rattlesnake Envenomation."
Entomology: Presented to Robert A. Lopez of Westport, NY, valiant veterinarian and friend of all creatures great and small, for his series of experiments in obtaining ear mites from cats, inserting them into his own ear, and carefully observing and analyzing the results.
Psychology: Presented to Lee Kuan Yew, former Prime Minister of Singapore, for his thirty-year study of the effects of punishing three million citizens of Singapore whenever they spat, chewed gum, or fed pigeons.
Literature: Presented to L. Ron Hubbard, ardent author of science fiction and founding father of Scientology, for his crackling Good Book, Dianetics, which is highly profitable to mankind aˆ" or to a portion thereof.
Chemistry: Presented to Texas State Senator Bob Glasgow, wise writer of logical legislation, for sponsoring the 1989 drug control law which makes it illegal to purchase beakers, flasks, test tubes, or other laboratory glassware without a permit.
Economics: Presented to Juan Pablo Davila of Chile, tireless trader of financial futures and former employee of the state-owned Codelco Company, for instructing his computer to "buy" when he meant "sell." He subsequently attempted to recoup his losses by making increasingly unprofitable trades that ultimately lost 0.5 percent of Chile's gross national product. Davila's relentless achievement inspired his countrymen to coin a new verb, " davilar," meaning "to botch things up royally."
Mathematics: Presented to The Southern Baptist Church of Alabama, mathematical measurers of morality, for their county-by-county estimate of how many Alabama citizens will go to Hell if they don't repent. Prize for apocryphal achievements no longer officially listed.
Physics: Presented to The Japanese Meteorological Agency, for its seven-year study of whether earthquakes are caused by catfish wiggling their tails. This winner is not officially listed, as it was based on what turned out to be erroneous press accounts.
Psychology: Presented jointly to John Edward Mack of Harvard Medical School and David M. Jacobs of Temple University, for their conclusion that people who believe they were kidnapped by aliens from outer space, probably were - and especially for their conclusion, "the focus of the abduction is the production of children".
Consumer Engineering: Presented to Ron Popeil, incessant inventor and perpetual pitchman of late night television, for redefining the industrial revolution with such devices as the Veg-O-Matic, the Pocket Fisherman, Mr. Microphone, and the Inside-the-Shell Egg Scrambler.
Biology: Presented jointly to Paul Williams Jr. of the Oregon State Health Division and Kenneth W. Newel of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, bold biological detectives, for their pioneering study, "Salmonella Excretion in Joy-Riding Pigs".
Economics: Presented to Ravi Batra of Southern Methodist University, shrewd economist and best-selling author of The Great Depression of 1990 and Surviving the Great Depression of 1990, for selling enough copies of his books to single-handedly prevent worldwide economic collapse.
Peace: The Pepsi-Cola Company of the Philippines, for sponsoring a contest to create a millionaire, and then announcing the wrong winning number, thereby inciting and uniting 800,000 riotously expectant winners, and bringing many warring factions together for the first time in their nation's history.
Visionary Technology: Presented jointly to Jay Schiffman of Farmington Hills, Michigan, crack inventor of AutoVision, an image projection device that makes it possible to drive a car and watch television at the same time, and to the Michigan State Legislature, for making it legal to do so.
Chemistry: Presented jointly to James Campbell and Gaines Campbell of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, dedicated deliverers of fragrance, for inventing scent strips, the odious method by which perfume is applied to magazine pages.
Literature: Presented to E. Topol, R. Califf, F. Van de Werf, P. W. Armstrong, and their 972 co-authors, for publishing a medical research paper which has one hundred times as many authors as pages. The authors are from the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Mathematics: Presented to Robert W. Faid of Greenville, South Carolina, farsighted and faithful seer of statistics, for calculating the exact odds (860,609,175,188, 282,100 to 1) that Mikhail Gorbachev is the Antichrist.
Physics: Presented to Corentin Louis Kervran of France, ardent admirer of alchemy, for his conclusion that the calcium in chickens' eggshells is created by a process of cold fusion.
Medicine: Presented to James F. Nolan, Thomas J. Stillwell, and John P. Sands, Jr., medical men of mercy, for their painstaking research report, "Acute Management of the Zipper-Entrapped Penis."
Medicine: F. Kanda, E. Yagi, M. Fukuda, K. Nakajima, T. Ohta, and O. Nakata of the Shiseido Research Center in Yokohama, for their pioneering research study "Elucidation of Chemical Compounds Responsible for Foot Malodour," especially for their conclusion that people who think they have foot odor do, and those who don't, don't.
Archeology: Eclaireurs de France, the Protestant youth group whose name means "Scouts of France", fresh-scrubbed removers of graffiti, for erasing the ancient paintings from the walls of the Meyrieres Cave near the French village of Bruniquel.
Economics: The investors of Lloyd's of London, heirs to 300 years of dull prudent management, for their bold attempt to insure disaster by refusing to pay for their company's losses.
Biology: Dr. Cecil Jacobson, relentlessly generous sperm donor, and prolific patriarch of sperm banking, for devising a simple, single-handed method of quality control.
Chemistry: Ivette Bassa, constructor of colorful colloids, for her role in the crowning achievement of twentieth century chemistry, the synthesis of bright blue Jell-O.
Physics: David Chorley and Doug Bower, lions of low-energy physics, for their circular contributions to field theory based on the geometrical destruction of English crops.
Nutrition: The utilizers of SPAM, courageous consumers of canned comestibles, for 54 years of undiscriminating digestion.
Literature: Yuri Struchkov, unstoppable author from the Institute of Organoelement Compounds in Moscow, for the 948 scientific papers he published between the years 1981 and 1990, averaging more than one every 3.9 days.
Art: Presented jointly to Jim Knowlton, modern Renaissance man, for his classic anatomy poster "Penises of the Animal Kingdom," and to the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts, for encouraging Mr. Knowlton to extend his work in the form of a pop-up book.
Peace: Daryl Gates, former police chief of the City of Los Angeles, for his uniquely compelling methods of bringing people together.
Chemistry: Jacques Benveniste, prolific proselytizer and dedicated correspondent of Nature, for his persistent discovery that water, H2O, is an intelligent liquid, and for demonstrating to his satisfaction that water is able to remember events long after all traces of those events have vanished.
Medicine: Alan Kligerman, deviser of digestive deliverance, vanquisher of vapor, and inventor of Beano, for his pioneering work with anti-gas liquids that prevent bloat, gassiness, discomfort and embarrassment.
Education: J. Danforth Quayle, consumer of time and occupier of space (as well as the U.S. Vice President from 1989-93), for demonstrating, better than anyone else, the need for science education.
Biology: Robert Klark Graham, selector of seeds and prophet of propagation, for his pioneering development of the Repository for Germinal Choice, a sperm bank that accepts donations only from Nobellians and Olympians.
Economics: Michael Milken, titan of Wall Street and father of the junk bond, to whom the world is indebted.
Literature: Erich von DA¤niken, visionary raconteur and author of Chariots of the Gods?, for explaining how human civilization was influenced by ancient astronauts from outer space.
Peace: Edward Teller, father of the hydrogen bomb and first champion of the Star Wars weapons system, for his lifelong efforts to change the meaning of peace as we know it.
Official Ig Nobel Prize Winner List (public domain)