Here’s What We Learned From The Ig Nobel Awards

Silly lessons from some silly science

A drawing of a chicken with a fake tail attached

How To Turn A Chicken Into A Dinsaur

Just add a tail.Figure from Grossi et al., PLOS One, February 2014

Eggs can be un-boiled, at least partially. Mammals all pee for the same length of time. Every language has a word for "huh?" CEOs of risk-taking firms tend to have lived through—but didn't suffer from—natural disasters. Police in Bangkok can get extra pay for refusing bribes. Allergic people get fewer hives if they make out with someone, and DNA persists in saliva after kissing such that saliva may provide evidence of an assault. It is mathematically possible for the Moroccan Emperor Moulay Ismael the Bloodthirsty (1672–1727) to have fathered 888 children, as lore holds. Chickens will walk like dinosaurs if they have heavy fake tails attached to their butts. A species of paper wasp has the most painful insect sting; the nostril is among the most painful places to be stung by a honey bee.

(Read all about the Ig Nobels and browse 25 years of previous winners at the Annals of Improbable Research. Or just check out Popular Science 's favorites in the September issue.)