September 26, 2012

2012 Ig Nobel Awards Push the Improbable

In case you were wondering, it turns out that chimpanzees can, in fact, identify one another when viewing pictures of their butts.

Oh, and the Eiffel Tower apparently seems smaller when you lean to your left.

These are just two of the startling conclusions of researchers honored at this year's Ig Nobel Awards held last week, which honor improbable research around the world.

The awards, held each year at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre, are intended to make people first laugh, then think.

They aim to honor the imagination and build interest  in science, medicine and technology.

Recipients of the awards travel to the ceremony at their own expense and receive the prizes from "genuinely bemused genuine Nobel laureates," says the awards' website.

And it is not just people who are honored. The U.S. Government General Accountability Office this year won the Ig Nobel Prize for Literature, "for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports."

Check out all of the winners at and even see an Internet broadcast of this year's event.

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