Research into why scientists like to lick rocks wins joint Ig Nobel Prize in Chemistry and Geology.

This year’s Ig Nobel Prize in Chemistry and Geology goes to Jan Zalasiewicz for his explanation of why many scientists like to lick rocks. Geologists regularly do this during fieldwork because something that is unclear under a magnifying glass suddenly becomes much clearer on a wet surface,’ he explained in his acceptance speech. 200 years ago they did it to find out what kind of rock it was. His explanation came, of course, with a live demonstration.

The winners received a piece of paper signed by several Nobel Laureates stating that they had won the prize, a ten trillion Zimbabwe dollar note and a PDF document that you can print out and make a box out of - this year’s trophy.

This was the 33rd edition of the Ig Nobel Prizes, which are awarded for research that “makes people laugh and then think”. In total, 10 prizes were awarded. They were presented by a group of current Nobel laureates, including chemistry winners Frances Arnold, Marty Chalfie and Barry Sharpless, who won last year for his work on click chemistry. The ceremony, which this year took place online, is full of playful traditions such as mass paper aeroplane throwing and 24/7 lectures, in which researchers explain their research in 24 seconds and then in seven words.