Bacteria in cash, pizza as medicine and other crazy experiments win Ig Nobels
File image of spectators throwing hundreds of paper airplanes at the stage during the 25th annual Ig Nobel awards held at Harvard University's Sanders Theater in Cambridge, USA, Sept. 17, 2015. EPA-EFE FILE/CJ GUNTHER
A Neapolitan 'pizzaiuolo' bakes a pizza in Naples, Italy, Dec. 7, 2017. EPA-EFE FILE/CESARE ABBATE
Washington DC, Sep 12 (efe-epa).- The number of deadly bacteria lurking in cash or the medicinal properties of pizza are some of the unusual experiments conducted by scientists from all over the world that were awarded Harvard University's satiric Ig Nobel Prize on Thursday.
The scientists collected their awards at a ceremony that parodies the prestigious Nobel Prizes and celebrates the achievements of everyday life.
One of the co-founders of the Ig Nobel, Marc Abrahams, opened the ceremony dressed in a top hat, tuxedo and an undone red bow tie.
"We are gathered tonight to honor some remarkable individuals and groups. Every winner has done something that makes people laugh, and then makes them think," Abrahams said amid enthusiastic applause from the audience.
Ten prizes were awarded in the 29th edition of the Ig Nobels, which are organized every year by the scientific journal "Annals of Improbable Research."
Each winner received a diploma signed by several Nobel laureates, though there was no money attached, unlike in the case of the Nobel Prizes, which award recipients with 9 million Swedish kronor (around $935,000).
The Economics Prize went to a team composed of two Dutch researchers and a Turkish scientist, who researched one of the most traded objects in the world: cash money.
They discovered that cash is a great source for transmitting bacteria, a finding for which they received a big round of applause.
Italian scientist Silvano Gallus, who published a study urging society to eat pizza for the enormous health benefits it offers, received the Medicine Prize.
Iran's Iman Farahbakhsh took home the engineering prize for inventing a diaper-changing machine.
The audience was very lively throughout the ceremony. While many threw paper airplanes at the start of the event, a man wearing a Scottish kilt later climbed onto the stage to play the bagpipes.
The rules of the gala were equally unorthodox: the organizers employed unconventional measures to prevent winners from exceeding the time given to them for their acceptance speeches, such as asking an eight-year-old girl to come on stage and repeat the phrase: “Please stop, I’m bored.” EFE-EPA