Have you heard of the IG nobel prize?
(I hadn’t until recently so don’t feel bad.)
It’s an award that operates as a parody of the Nobel Prizes for all things weird, funny, but scientifically proven to be factual.
The Ig Nobel Prize 2021 awards were handed out last night (via webcast due to COVID) and my favorite of them all was the Medicine Prize awarded to Olcay Cem Bulut and colleagues, for demonstrating that sexual orgasms can be as effective as decongestant medicines at improving nasal breathing.
The pair found that sexual intercourse with climax improves nasal breathing to the same degree as application of nasal decongestant for up to 60 minutes as measured with subjective VAS. This was confirmed by objective rhinometric data mean as nasal flow increased while resistance decreased immediately, 30 minutes, and 60 minutes post-intervention. Three hours after sexual intercourse, nasal breathing was back to the baseline level in the “sex group,” whereas after application of nasal decongestant spray, nasal breathing was still significantly improved. Only participants having nasal obstruction (NOSE score >30) showed improvement after sex.
The full list of 2021 Ig Nobel award winners:
Biology Prize: Susanne Schötz, for analysing variations in purring, chirping, chattering, trilling, tweedling, murmuring, meowing, moaning, squeaking, hissing, yowling, howling, growling, and other modes of cat-human communication.
Ecology Prize: Leila Satari and colleagues, for using genetic analysis to identify the different species of bacteria that reside in wads of discarded chewing gum stuck on pavements in various countries.
Chemistry Prize: Jörg Wicker and colleagues, for chemically analysing the air inside movie theatres, to test whether the odours produced by an audience reliably indicate the levels of violence, sex, antisocial behaviour, drug use, and bad language in the movie the audience is watching.
Economics Prize: Pavlo Blavatskyy, for discovering that the obesity of a country’s politicians may be a good indicator of that country’s corruption.
Peace Prize: Ethan Beseris and colleagues, for testing the hypothesis that humans evolved beards to protect themselves from punches to the face.
Physics Prize: Alessandro Corbetta and colleagues, for conducting experiments to learn why pedestrians do not constantly collide with other pedestrians.
Kinetics Prize: Hisashi Murakami and colleagues, for conducting experiments to learn why pedestrians do sometimes collide with other pedestrians.
Entomology Prize: John Mulrennan Jr and colleagues, for their research study “A New Method of Cockroach Control on Submarines”.
Transportation Prize: Robin Radcliffe and colleagues, for determining by experiment whether it is safer to transport an airborne rhinoceros upside down.