Research on big ears, crocodile gambling wins Ig Nobels

BOSTON (AP) — Scientists who discovered that old men really do have big ears, that playing the didgeridoo helps relieve sleep apnea and that handling crocodiles can influence gambling decisions are this years’ recipients of the Ig Nobel, the prize for absurd scientific achievement.

The 27th annual award winners were announced Thursday during a ceremony at Harvard University that featured paper airplanes, a comic opera and real Nobel laureates.

James Heathcote, a British physician who studied old men’s ears, calls the honor strange but thrilling.

The didgeridoo is an Australian aboriginal instrument, but it was a Swiss scientist, Milo Puhan, who won for figuring out that it can help relieve common sleeping disorders.

The annual Ig Nobel prizes are sponsored by the Annals of Improbable Research magazine and two Harvard-Radcliffe student organizations.

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