Laugh first, think later. That's the theory behind the annual Ig Nobel Awards, which celebrate academia's most bizarre, irrelevant studies. Past winners have included Dan Quayle, doctors who found that Viagra helps jet-lagged hamsters, and two researchers who proved that sword-swallowing is dangerous. This year's feature ovulating strippers, intelligent slime and soft drinks that double as spermicide.
Do people actually want to receive these awards? According to Nature magazine, "The Ig Nobel Awards are arguably the highlight of the scientific calendar." Launch the gallery to see why scientists are so crazy about Ig.