Researchers who used a remote-controlled helicopter to collect whale snot were among the winners of this year’s spoof IgNobel prizes.
The prizes, meant to be both humorous and to encourage scientific research, are given every year by the Journal of Improbable Research as a counterpart to the Nobel Prizes.
Dr Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse’s technique is used to collect gases and mucus exhaled by the giant mammals.
The tongue-in-cheek Ig Nobel awards for “improbable research” have become almost as famous as the real Nobels.
The teams citation read as follows.
ENGINEERING PRIZE: Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse and Agnes Rocha-Gosselin of the Zoological Society of London, UK, and Diane Gendron of Instituto Politecnico
Nacional, Baja California Sur, Mexico, for perfecting a method to collect whale snot, using a remote-control helicopter.
More details on the Ig Nobels here.
Speaking to BBC News Dr Acevedo-Whitehouse said she was delighted to receive the spoof honour: “I was slightly bemused at first, to be honest, but I think that it is important to recognize (and communicate) that science can be fun. My colleagues and I are actually quite proud to receive this award now. Beyond the actual results (which are actually very interesting) we certainly have had fun doing our whale-snot research!”