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What do alligators on helium have in common with frozen poop knives, hitmen who won’t do their jobs and earthworms that vibrate at high frequencies? These peculiar topics all inspired research that earned a unique science accolade: a 2020 Ig Nobel Prize.

The Ig Nobel Prize ceremony is an annual event to honor weird science in a diverse range of disciplines. The awards are organized by the magazine Annals of Improbable Research (AIR) and co-sponsored by the Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics Students and the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association, and it’s definitely an evening to remember. Each year, winners are handed their trophies (along with a 10-trillion dollar bill from Zimbabwe) by Nobel laureates; professional singers trill an original mini-opera; and audience members gleefully fling paper airplanes at the stage, in a celebration of scientific achievements “that make people laugh, then think,” according to the contest website.



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