Story Sunday: Ig Nobel Prize Goes For Alligator On Helium

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“Alligator sucking on helium wins parody Ig Nobel Prize”

Scientists are answering a question no one is asking. What would it sound like if an alligator sucked up helium? When a team of international researchers wanted to find out whether a gator’s vocalizations relate to its body size, they devised an experiment that would earn them the 2020 Ig Nobel (a wordplay on “Nobel” and “ignoble”) Prize for acoustics. Researchers captured footage of the snorting alligator in a helium-filled tank. In perhaps one of the biggest letdowns in the history of scientific study, it sounded nothing like a cartoon chipmunk. Now in its 30th year, the annual Ig Nobel Prize awards ceremony, usually presented at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre, was conducted remotely due to pandemic restrictions.

Among this year’s other elite competitors, a study which demonstrated that meticulously groomed eyebrows are a reliable indicator of grandiose narcissism took home the prize in psychology. The prize in economics went to an international team of creeps (presumably) who wanted to know whether the rate of French kissing correlated with national income inequality. Based on data from 13 countries across six continents, they found that where kissing was more frequent, income inequality was also more likely to occur. Go figure. American Richard Vetter took home the prize in entomology for his brave study on spiders (which aren’t technically insects) that revealed most of his peers are, allegedly, arachnophobic. And, the award for materials science went deservedly (because it’s gross) to a collaboration between the US and the UK to study whether frozen human feces could be made into usable knives. Spoiler alert: It certainly cannot.

But, who could forget the most Ig Nobel moment in recent history? The medical education prize went to a roundup of sometimes ill-advised world leaders for showing that “politicians can have a more immediate effect on life and death than scientists and doctors can” during the global coronavirus pandemic.

Hannah Sparks
New York Post
September 18, 2020

Researcher Receives Ig Nobel Prize (Lund University/Stephan Reber)

5 thoughts on “Story Sunday: Ig Nobel Prize Goes For Alligator On Helium

    Dayphoto said:
    September 21, 2020 at 2:56 PM

    HAHAHAH The Excessively Groomed Eyebrows….HAHAHAH

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      September 21, 2020 at 2:27 PM

      I know! 😆

    charliecountryboy said:
    September 28, 2020 at 2:56 AM

    Quite amazing and it’s so refreshing that when the world is in crisis and on the brink of another recession, people can find the fund’s for such important research 😂😂😂😘

      The Hinoeuma responded:
      September 28, 2020 at 3:02 AM

      Boggles a thinking mind, huh?

    badfinger20 (Max) said:
    September 28, 2020 at 10:42 PM

    I feel sorry for the alligator…poor guy has to live in a cement square.

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