Well, yes – when it comes to science! The BBC reports:
Have you heard the one about the alligator that performed the party trick of breathing in helium so it could talk in a funny voice?
It’s not that hilarious but then you’d be careful never to smile at a crocodilian.
Stephan Reber and colleagues performed the experiment to try to understand how alligators might communicate.
It was a serious piece of research but its slightly comedic aspects have just won the team an Ig Nobel Prize.
Ten such awards were handed out on Thursday by the science humour magazine Annals of Improbable Research.
The annual Igs are intended as a bit of a spoof on the more sober Nobel science prizes.
Other 2020 winners included the team that devised a method to identify narcissists by examining their eyebrows; and the group that wanted to see what happened when earthworms were vibrated at high frequency.
All this kind of stuff sounds daft, but when you dig a little deeper you realise much of the research lauded by the Ig Nobels is actually intended to tackle real-world problems and gets published in peer-reviewed, scholarly journals.
Dr Reber told BBC News he was honoured to receive the Ig.
His team’s study had attempted to show that crocodilians and other reptiles could advertise their body size through their vocalisations – something that mammals and birds can do when they call out.
. . .
The Prof is something of a superstar having also won an Ig earlier in his career for levitating frogs.
There’s more at the link.
When one looks at the list of those who’ve previously won an Ig Nobel prize, and the research that earned them the award, it’s hard to figure out how they came up with the idea(s) for such experiments. I mean, who would have thought of using magnets to levitate a frog?
One can only bow in the presence of such greatness . . .