Apparently these are a thing.
We all know of the Nobel Prizes, no need to explain those. That makes the explanation for the Ig Nobel Prizes rather short: they’re like Nobel Prizes, except for trivial, insignificant or downright silly research. The stated goal being to “honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think”. And they do a very fine job at that. Reading through the list of wards given out over the years, there’s definitely some hilarious experiments and findings in there.
For example, among the 2015 Ig Nobel Prize winners are researchers that discovered the word “huh?” (or equivalent) seems to be present in every single human language. They’re not yet sure why that is, exactly. There was also a guy who let himself be stung by honey bees on twenty-five different places on his body, to find out which places were the least and most painful. At the top of the list you’ll find the nostril, upper lip and… penis shaft.
Let’s also not forget the Bangkok Metropolitan Police, who got awarded the Ig Nobel Prize in economics for offering to pay their policemen extra cash if they refused to take bribes. Classic.
But hey, sometimes the best of inventions start out as nothing more than a silly experiment or finding. Who knows what these may fuel!