Ig® Nobel Limericks: Bats and Snot, Etc.

The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research.

(Image credit: Anton Croos)

Ig Nobel Achievements distilled into limerick form
by Martin Eiger, Improbable Research Limerick Laureate

The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, then make them think. For details of all the Ig Nobel Prize--winning achievements, see each year's special Ig Nobel issue of the magazine, and also see the winner's list.

2010 Ig Nobel Biology Prize
Libiao Zhang, Min Tan, Guangjian Zhu, Jianping Ye, Tiyu Hong, Shanyi Zhou, and Shuyi Zhang of China, and Gareth Jones of the University of Bristol, U.K., for scientifically documenting fellatio in fruit bats.

REFERENCE: "Fellatio by Fruit Bats Prolongs Copulation Time," Min Tan, Gareth Jones, Guangjian Zhu, Jianping Ye, Tiyu Hong, Shanyi Zhou, Shuyi Zhang and Libiao Zhang, PLoS ONE, vol. 4, no. 10, p. e7595.

It was bad. We were both nervous wrecks.
Was there hope for us, me and my ex?
Had we learned, I intuit,
From how fruit bats do it,
She and I would have had better sex.

2010 Ig Nobel Engineering Prize
Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse and Agnes Rocha-Gosselin of the Zoological Society of London, U.K., and Diane Gendron of Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Baja California Sur, Mexico, for perfecting a method to collect whale snot, using a remote-control helicopter.

Figure 3. Photograph showing the collection of blow from a blue whale Balaenoptera musculus using a radio-controlled helicopter. Detail from the study “A Novel Non-Invasive Tool for Disease Surveillance of Free-Ranging Whales and It’s Relevance to Conservation Programs.”

REFERENCE: "A Novel Non-Invasive Tool for Disease Surveillance of Free-Ranging Whales and Its Relevance to Conservation Programs," Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse, Agnes Rocha-Gosselin, and Diane Gendron, Animal Conservation, vol. 13, no. 2, April 2010, pp. 217--25.

In olden days, men would set sail.
Inevitably, they would fail.
Now remotely controlled
Helicopters, we're told,
Can gather the snot of a whale.

2010 Ig Nobel Medicine Prize
Simon Rietveld of the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Ilja van Beest of Tilburg University, the Netherlands, for discovering that symptoms of asthma can be treated with a roller-coaster ride. [Reference: "Rollercoaster Asthma: When Positive Emotional Stress Interferes with Dyspnea Perception," Simon Rietveld and Ilja van Beest, Behaviour Research and Therapy, vol. 45, 2006, pp. 977--87.]

There was racing and spinning and fear.
The screaming resounds in my ear.
I was physically ill.
Bad dreams plague me still.
My breathing, however, is clear

1992 Ig Nobel Economics Prize
The investors of Lloyds of London, heirs to 300 years of dull prudent management, for their bold attempt to insure disaster by refusing to pay for their company's losses.

Insurance providers today
Take chances. There's no other way.
There's risk mitigation,
However, when they shun
Their obligation to pay

1991 Ig Nobel Biology Prize
Robert Klark Graham, selector of seeds and prophet of propagation, for his pioneering development of the Repository for Germinal Choice, a sperm bank that accepts donations only from Nobellians and Olympians.

Robert Klark Graham would advise
That if you've won no Nobel Prize
And you're not good at sports,
Then don't drop your shorts.
He does not want the sperm from such guys.

Note: A complete list of Ig Nobel Prize winners is online at Improbable Research.


This article is republished with permission from the July-August 2013 issue of the Annals of Improbable Research. You can download or purchase back issues of the magazine, or subscribe to receive future issues.

Or get a subscription for someone as a gift! Visit their website for more research that makes people LAUGH and then THINK.

Login to comment.
Email This Post to a Friend
"Ig® Nobel Limericks: Bats and Snot, Etc."

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More