Upside-down rhino research wins Ig Nobel Prize

An experiment that hung rhinoceroses upside down to see what effect it had on the animals has been awarded one of this year’s Ig Nobel prizes. Other recipients included teams that studied the bacteria in chewing gum stuck to pavements, and how to control cockroaches on submarines. The spoof prizes are not as famous as the “real” Nobels – not quite. The ceremony couldn’t take place at its usual home of Harvard University in the US because of Covid restrictions.

All the fun occurred online instead. The science humour magazine, Annals of Improbable Research, says its Ig Nobel awards should first make you laugh but then make you think. And the rhino study, which this year wins the award for transportation research, does exactly this. What could seem more daft than hanging 12 rhinos upside down for 10 minutes? But wildlife veterinarian Robin Radcliffe, from Cornell University, and colleagues did exactly this in Namibia because they wanted to know if the health of the animals might be compromised when slung by their legs beneath a helicopter…

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Ig Nobel win for roller coaster therapy (2018)

    Previous Ig Nobel Prizes