BOSTON (AP) — The sex lives of constipated scorpions, cute ducklings with an innate sense of physics and life-size rubber moose may not have much in common, but they all inspired the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize, the prize for comic scientific achievement.

Thursday’s 32nd annual Nobel Prize ceremony, held less than a month before the actual Nobel Prizes are announced, was pre-recorded for the third year in a row on the website of the journal Annals of Improbable Research.

The winners, awarded in 10 categories, also include scientists who discovered that when people are attracted to each other on a blind date, their heart rhythms synchronize, and researchers who investigated why legal documents can be so confusing even to lawyers themselves.

Although the ceremony was pre-recorded, it retained much of the fun of a live event usually held at Harvard University.

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In the tradition of the Nobel Prizes, the actual Nobel laureates handed out the awards using a little video trick: the Nobel laureates presented the prize off-screen, while the winners reached out and received the prize, which appeared to be sent to them and collected by themselves.

The winners also received a virtually worthless $10 trillion Zimbabwean note.

Curiosity Ig-nited? Learn more about some of the winners:

“Science is fun. My motto is, you’re not doing science if you’re not having fun,” said Frank Fish, a biology professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics for studying why ducklings follow their mothers alone. file formation.

It’s about energy conservation: Ducklings engage in traction, similar to how regular cars, cyclists and runners do during races, he said.

“It all has to do with the flow that happens behind that leading organism and how movement in the formation can have an energetic benefit,” said the aptly named Fish, whose specialty is the study of how animals swim.

He shared the prize with researchers from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, who discovered that the ducklings actually followed their mother in the surf.

Eliska Prohazkova’s personal experience inspired her research on dating, which earned her and her colleagues the Ig Nobel Prize in Cardiology.

She had no problem finding her ideal match on dating apps, but often found that there was no spark when they met face-to-face.

So she set people up on blind dates in real social settings, measured their physiological responses, and found that the pulses of people who are attracted to each other are in sync.

So does her work indicate “love at first sight”?

“It really depends on how you define love,” Prohazkova, a researcher at Leiden University in the Netherlands, said in an email. soon. Within the first two seconds of an encounter, participants formed a very complex image of the person sitting in front of them.”

Salimari García-Hernández and Glauco Machado of the University of São Paulo in Brazil won the Ig Nobel Prize in Biology for studying whether constipation destroys the scorpion’s sex life.

Scorpions can detach part of their body to escape a predator, a process called autotomy. But when they lose their tails, they also lose the last part of their digestive tract, leading to constipation — and eventually death, they write in the journal Integrated Zoology.

“Long-term reductions in locomotor performance of autotomized males may impair mate search,” they wrote.

Magnus Gers won the Nobel Safety Prize for creating a moose “crash test dummy” for his master’s thesis at the Royal Institute of Technology KTH in Stockholm, published by the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute.

Frequent collisions between moose and vehicles on Sweden’s highways often result in injuries and deaths of both people and animals, Gers said in an email. But car manufacturers rarely include animal crashes in their safety tests.

“I think this is a fascinating and still very unexplored area that deserves all the attention,” he said. – This topic is mystical, life-threatening and more relevant than ever.”

Anyone who has ever read a terms of service agreement knows that the legalese can be downright confusing.

That frustrated Eric Martinez, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences who also has a law degree from Harvard.

He, Francis Mollica, and Edward Gibson shared the Ig Nobel literature for an analysis of what makes legal documents unnecessarily difficult to understand, a study published in the journal Cognition.

“Ultimately, there is some hope that lawyers will think a little more with the reader in mind,” he said. “Clarity benefits not only lay people but also lawyers.”

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