10 Of The Funniest Ig Nobel Prizes Ever Awarded

Funny, Lists, Other, Science, Shocking, Weird

The Nobel prize is the greatest honor a person can receive for their accomplishments in fields like science, literature and peace. Being awarded the Nobel prize means that your work has truly made a difference in the lives of millions of people around the world. The Ig Nobel Prize is the exact opposite of the Nobel Prize. It is a parody award that celebrates truly massive lapses in intellect, and it does so in various fields as well. To be awarded the Ig Nobel Prize is to have screwed up in a really bad way. This list features 10 of the funniest Ig Nobel Prizes that have ever been awarded.


This award was presented to the entrepreneurs of Nigeria for pulling off one of the greatest internet scams of all-time. It involves receiving an email from a wealthy prince/king who needs just a small amount of expense money in order to release millions of dollars held by the government. People who contributed to this were told that they would be rewarded handsomely for their generosity.

Literature Habits

‘Consequence of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with using long words needlessly’ is a report published by Daniel M. Oppenheimer of Princeton University. He ended up contradicting his own findings by using this title for his paper which is why he received the Ig Nobel Prize.


This one was awarded to Jack Harvey and John Culvenor for their outstanding report titled – ‘An analysis of the forces required to drag sheep over various surfaces’.


Juan Manuel Toro and Joseph B. Trobalon actually conducted a study that proved that rats can sometimes distinguish between recordings of Japanese and Dutch played backwards.


Not many people think of the kind of ideas concocted by Karl Schwarzler and the nation of Liechtenstein. They received the Ig Nobel Prize for their shocking idea of allowing anyone to be able to rent out the nation of Liechtenstein for wedding, celebrations and corporate conventions. There is selling out, and then there is selling everything.


Brian Wansink won the Ig Nobel Prize for Nutrition for his study on mindless eating. He studied people’s appetite by making them eat out of a self-refilling bowl of soup.


This one goes to K.P Sreekumar and G. Nirmalan from India for their brilliant report – ‘Estimation of total surface area in Indian elephants’.

Sheet Physics

Ever wondered how sheets get wrinkled? Me neither, but Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan and Enrique Cerda Villablanca did and they published a theoretical study about it.


Some research seems entirely pointless and this is a classic example. Christel Joubert and Michel Franc received the Ig Nobel Prize for discovering that fleas that live on dogs can jump higher than those that live on cats. Score one for dogs I suppose!


Talk about being out of touch! John Keogh from Australia tried to patent the wheel in 2001, and an Australian Patent officer actually granted him the Innovation Patent #2001100012. These two individuals definitely deserve to win the Ig Nobel Prize for technology.