The Non Ignorable Ig Nobel Prize!
This story appears in the November 2018 issue of School LIVE.
Have you ever come across movies which are parodies of other movies that became a hit? You must have come across spoofs of the famous Harry Potter series and not to forget the all time hit “Superhero” movie spoof, "Deadpool". But that's the thing with these spoofs, they get us to see the funny side of things. After movies we now introduce you to the nobel world of spoof awards.

For years we have read about people being awarded the prestigious “Nobel Prize”.  These awards were named after the Swedish Scientist “Alfred Nobel”. The event for distributing the Peace Prize is held in Oslo Norway, and for Physics, Chemistry and Literature the award ceremony is held in Stockholm, Sweden.These very popular Nobel Prizes, are awarded to people who have made a notable contribution in the field of Science and Literature.


Let’s for a moment shift our focus to another set of awards, which are equally crucial and amusing, to say the very least. Give way to the yearly Ig Nobel Prize! For all those of us who are unaware, these awards are more or less a parody of the novel Nobel Prize. Held every year during the autumn, these awards celebrate the lesser known, ludicrous achievements in scientific research.



The idea was first incepted and carried out in 1991 by Marc Abrahams, the co- editor of the magazine Annals of Improbable Research. The name of these awards is basically a pun on the word "ignoble", and are awarded to those researches which are absurd or amusing. Unlike the mundane and formal award functions, the Ig Nobel Prize is filled with surprises and a number of comic elements. Since 1996, the ceremony has also included mini operas, for which the libretto (text for an Opera) have been written by Marc himself. If any speaker starts with an exceptionally long speech, an adorable 8 year old girl walks up to the podium and loudly repeats, “Please stop. I’m bored” till the speaker doesn’t wind up. The ceremony always closes with the words, "If you didn't win a prize- and especially if you did- better luck next year!"





The Ig Nobel Prize ceremony is broadcasted on National Public Radio and is shown live on the internet as well.


The Ig Nobel Prize honors achievements which make people laugh first, and then think. Many may think that they are to ridicule the field of science, however the truth is that every achievement in the world of science was once funny or even absurd. Ever since its inception and reach, many researchers from India have also been honored at this prize.

We bring to you a round up of some of the most ludicrous researchers that won, and we did not shy away from bringing in all the ones from India.


  • 1991 saw the honor of Ig Nobel in Physics going to Thomas Kyle, for his discovery of the heaviest element in the universe, Administratium. We could not agree more!


  • India made its first kill in 1993, with Ravi Batra winning the Economics Prize for his blockbuster bestseller "The Great Depression of 1990", for it was later discovered that there was no great depression during that year!


  • In the year 2001, Chittaranjan Andrade and BS Srihari won the prize for Public Health. Their paper, for which they won the prize, was a detailed study on how and why teenagers picked their noses! Talk about meddling in others’ private affairs.


  • Imagine being dead and yet being awarded! Yes, in the year 2003 the Ig Nobel for Peace was awarded to a person who was legally presumed dead. Lal Bihari from Uttar Pradesh was accorded this prize since he overcame being dead and also managed to obtain a passport. Now that's an effort worth recognizing.


  • Did you know that the fleas on dogs can jump higher than fleas on cats? All for the work of Marie-Christine Cadiergues, Christel Joubert, and Michel Franc, who won the prize in Biology in 2008.


  • In 2013, the Ig Nobel Prize for Peace went to Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus for making it illegal to applaud in public. To add to this noble work, the Police of Belarus arrested a one-armed man for applauding.


  • We know that curiosity kills the cat, but have we ever thought of the correlation between cat bites and depression? Naren Ramakrishnan won the Public Health Prize in the year 2014 for his study that highlighted this correlation.


  • Have you ever wondered why people sit on a roller coaster ride? What's there to wonder? Isn't it all just for fun? But in the year 2018, Marc Mitchell and David Wartinger won the Ig Nobel Medicine Prize for their research on sitting on roller coaster rides to speeden the passage of kidney stones!


  • We all drink coffee to be alert and cruise through the day. But imagine what may happen if you held a cup of coffee and walked backwards instead! In the year 2017, Jiwon Han received the Fluid Dynamic Prize for his detailed observations on how coffee spilled if people walked backwards. Now that's pretty much a reverse psychology!



There are many more people who have been given this prize, and they have accepted it with all grace and dignity. Life is definitely very short and one can't be serious all the time. So with a pinch of humor and fun, the Ig Nobel Prize has become a trendsetter, where the only qualifying criteria is to make people laugh so hard that they are forced to think!

An interesting read which illustrates life in the most beautiful manner.



mail icon