Mayan enemas and the scientific method to take the door lock: These are the most absurd investigations of the year

20 Sep 2022 – 3:00 p.m.

The Ig Nobel Prizes they are the annual award that celebrates the most surprising, ridiculous or absurd discoveries or contributions, responsible for making humanity question and laugh. These are presented as the antithesis of the well-known and prestigious Nobel Prize winners.

Organized by the US journal Annals of Improbable Research in collaboration with the Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics Students and the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association, these awards have been held for the past 32 years.

The organizers of the event claim not to want to make fun of science, but to give a space to recognize different types of science.

“Good achievements can also be strange, funny and even absurd; also bad ones. A lot of good science is attacked for its absurdity” they wrote in the Official site.

The winners are presented with a ticket 10 trillion dollarsa currency originally from Zimbabwe and that disappeared during the year 2015.

Ig Nobel Prizes 2022

Usually, the Ig Nobels are held at the Sanders Theater at Harvard University, where Nobel Prize laureate scientists reward the teams of scientists behind these peculiar investigations.

But last September 15, and for the third consecutive year, the Ig Nobel Prizes had to be delivered online. Learn about some of the outstanding research.

ice cream to treat cancer


In the medicine category, this year a team of scientists from the University of Warsawin Poland, who found that patients suffering from the side effects of chemotherapy could avoid oral mucositis, or mouth ulcers, by eating ice cream.

This work, published in 2021, would have shown that only 28.85% of patients who ate ice cream developed the side effect, compared to 59% who did not eat the sweet dessert.

This is the correct way to use door handles

1663697568 202 Mayan enemas and the scientific method to take the door

A team of researchers from japan They won the Ig Nobel Prize in engineering for a 1999 work in which they determined the most efficient way to use the hands when turning door handles.

According to experts, the number of fingers used will depend directly on the size of the doorknob. If it is more than a centimeter, you will place only 3 fingers, while its thickness ranges from 2.5 to 5 centimeters in diameter, then it will increase to 4 or 5 fingers.

The enemas of the Mayans

In 1986, american researchers presented an analysis of the images of the Mayan ceramics, from which they determined that in addition to capturing their ball games, human sacrifices and dances, certain iconography represented scenes in which “without a doubt, they indicate that the ancient Mayans took intoxicating enemas in a ritual context.

Scorpions can’t go to the bathroom either.

The only Latin Americans recognized at the Ig Nobel Prizes were a group of Colombians who received the award for biology. Their research focuses on the anatomy of scorpions Ananteris, an animal that, in addition to having a dangerous poison, sheds a portion of its tail, as a response to danger, but which results in the loss of a portion of its intestine.

In this process, known as autonomy, scorpions risk suffering from a dangerous intestinal constipation that can cause illness, prevent their search for partners for reproduction or could even lead to death.

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Mayan enemas and the scientific method to take the door lock: These are the most absurd investigations of the year