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Ig® Nobel Limericks: Limburger, Time Flees, and Alien Kidnap Reporters

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

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 winners page

2006 Ig Nobel Biology Prize
Awarded to Bart Knols (of Wageningen Agricultural University, in Wageningen, the Netherlands; and of the National Institute for Medical Research, in Ifakara Centre, Tanzania, and of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in Vienna Austria) and Ruurd de Jong (of Wageningen Agricultural University and of Santa Maria degli Angeli, Italy) for showing that the female malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae is attracted equally to the smell of limburger cheese and to the smell of human feet.

[REFERENCE: “Limburger Cheese as an Attractant for the Malaria Mosquito Anopheles gambiae s.s.,” B.G.J. Knols and R. De Jong, Parasitology Today, vol. 12, no. 4, 1996, pp. 159-61; and other papers.]

Anopheles gambiae, she’s
The vector for awful disease.
She is drawn, research shows,
To your feet and your toes,
Just as much as to limburger cheese.

2005 Ig Nobel Economics Prize
Awarded to Gauri Nanda of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for inventing an alarm clock that runs away and hides, repeatedly, thus ensuring that people DO get out of bed, and thus theoretically adding many productive hours to the workday.

My alarm clock, I’m sorry to say,
Got hit by a mallet one day.
What the new one now does,
When it’s starting to buzz,
Is it also starts running away.

1993 Ig Nobel Psychology Prize
Awarded to John Mack of Harvard Medical School and David Jacobs of Temple University, mental visionaries, for their leaping conclusion that people who believe they were kidnapped by aliens from outer space, probably were—and especially for their conclusion “the focus of the abduction is the production of children.”

[REFERENCE: the book Secret Life: Firsthand, Documented Accounts of UFO Abductions]

Some planet—not Earth but another—
My daughter and also her brother
Believe is the place
Where I came from, my base,
But that isn’t me, it’s their mother.


This article is republished with permission from the May-June 2014 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.

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