2016 Ig Nobel

Source: Science Mag, Sep 2016

the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. This marks the 26th year of the contest that celebrates scientific studies that “make you laugh, and then think.”

Then Horváth turned to the mystery of horse flies. Why do they prefer to bite dark horses over white ones? In a study published in 2010 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, he discovered the answer: Polarized light strikes again. Horses with pure white fur are much prized by breeders and suffer a range of maladies—including sunburn—but they have a built-in advantage. White horse fur does not reflect the characteristic polarized light that the blood-sucking insects use to find their lunch.

The rest of the 2016 Ig Nobel Prizes:


The late Ahmed Shafik of Cairo University, for studying the effects of wearing polyester, cotton, or wool trousers on the sex life of rats, and for then conducting similar tests with human males.


Mark Avis, Sarah Forbes, and Shelagh Ferguson, for assessing the perceived personalities of rocks, from a sales and marketing perspective.


Evelyne Debey, Maarten De Schryver, Gordon Logan, Kristina Suchotzki, and Bruno Verschuere, for asking a thousand liars how often they lie, and for deciding whether to believe those answers.


Gordon Pennycook, James Allan Cheyne, Nathaniel Barr, Derek Koehler, and Jonathan Fugelsang for their scholarly study called “On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-Profound Bullshit.”


Fredrik Sjöberg, for his three-volume autobiographical work about the pleasures of collecting flies that are dead, and flies that are not yet dead.


Atsuki Higashiyama and Kohei Adachi, for investigating whether things look different when you bend over and view them between your legs.


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