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Since 1991, the Ig Nobels have honored scientific achievements "that first make people laugh, then make them think." This year's gala ceremony at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre saw Nobel Laureates hand out awards to winners who turned their considerable intellects to examining everything from cubed wombat poo to the temperature differential of left and right testicles.

The 10 winners in the 29th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize didn't pocket the roughly US$1 million in prize money that the winners of the slightly more serious awards from which the Ig Nobels derive their name took home, but the competition is just as farce – I mean fierce – and they no doubt ended the night with a smile on their faces. This year's winners, covering 10 categories, are as follows :