Maybe this year's Ig Nobels, the spoof prizes for dubious but humorous scientific achievement, should have been renamed the Ick Nobels. An anthropologist who tested an urban legend by fashioning a knife out of frozen human feces, and a man who found that spiders oddly give scientists who study insects the heebie-jeebies, are among the 2020 winners. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Thursday's 30th annual Ig Nobel ceremony was a 75-minute prerecorded virtual affair instead of the usual live event at Harvard University. Even so, it managed to maintain some of the event's traditions, including real Nobel Prize laureates handing out the amusing alternatives, the AP reports.
“It was a nightmare, and it took us months, but we got it done,” said Marc Abrahams, editor of the Annals of Improbable Research magazine, the event’s primary sponsor. In order to keep the tradition of real Nobel Prize winners handing out the Ig Nobels, organizers came up with a bit of video wizardry. Each winner was mailed a document that they could print out that included instructions on how to assemble their own cube-shaped prize. To make it look as if the real Nobel laureates were handing them out, they handed their prizes off screen, and the winner reached off screen to pull in the one they had self-assembled. Read on for more on the winners: