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Wasabi, yawning, and needing to pee: the winners of the 2011 Ig Nobel prizes

The alternative annual prizes – honouring science that makes us laugh and think – are as off-the-wall as ever.

IT’S NOBEL PRIZE WEEK – with the world’s scientific communities coming together to honour those who have made landmark contributions to their respective noble fields.

Alongside those prizes, however, come a much more fun category – the Ig Nobel Prizes – which honour those who contribute to the sciences in ways that make us laugh, as well as ways that make us think.

Here’s a selection of the ten winners from this year’s prizes – and the reasons for their widely-hailed success. Among them: the perfect consistency of wasabi in order to use it as an ‘alarm’, and how needing to pee changes the way you think.

Wasabi, yawning, and needing to pee: the winners of the 2011 Ig Nobel prizes
1 / 10
  • Medicine Prize

  • Biology Prize

  • Physiology Prize

  • Public Safety Prize

  • Chemistry Prize

  • Psychology Prize

  • Literature Prize

  • Mathematics Prize

  • Physics Prize

  • Peace Prize

More details on the Ig Nobel winners, and links to their published research, can be found at the Ig Nobel website.

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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