Each year, Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements in "improbably research" "that first make people laugh, and then make them think." This year's winners do not disappoint, ranging from research on how dung beetles navigate using the Milky Way to discoveries of the effects of opera on the heart. Past winners have included a bra that doubles as a face mask and a wasabi smoke alarm. Below, the food and beverage related winners:
· Psychology: The psychology prize was awarded for a study that confirmed "by experiment, that people who think they are drunk also think they are attractive." Participants were asked to deliver speeches, and the study determined that people who believed that had consumed alcohol were more likely to give themselves "positive self-evaluations." Liquid courage, proven.
· Chemistry: The Chemistry Prize was awarded for the discovery "that the biochemical process by which onions make people cry is even more complicated than scientists previously realized." Whereas it had previously been thought that the actions of the enzyme alliinase were responsible for this effect, it is now known to be the work of a previously undiscovered enzyme. The study suggests it might be possible to breed onions that do not make people cry.
· Probability Prize: The Probability Prize went to two "related discoveries": "First, that the longer a cow has been lying down, the more likely that cow will soon stand up; and Second, that once a cow stands up, you cannot easily predict how soon that cow will lie down again." This information can be used in the farming industry to detect disorders and evaluate housing circumstances among cows.
· Archeology: The Archeology Prize was awarded to a group of intrepid scientists for ingesting parboiled shrew bones without chewing. By studying the excreted results, these scientists have determined some of the effects of the human digestive system on bones, which could be useful in further archeological research on human waste.