In Brief

'Pee duration' study wins tongue-in-cheek Ig Nobel prize

US scientists honoured with award at annual parody research gala

A study into pee duration has won an Ig Nobel prize, reports the BBC.

The research, undertaken by scientists at Georgia Tech, discovered that nearly all mammals take the same amount of time to urinate.

Using rats, goats, cows and elephants, the scientists employed high-speed video analysis to model the liquid dynamics involved in peeing. They discovered that all mammals weighing more than 3kg empty their bladders in about 21 seconds.

However, smaller animals urinate far quicker. The researchers found that rats, for example, can urinate in just a fraction of a second.

Since they were launched 25 years ago, the Ig Nobel awards have become fondly regarded for the way they reward scientific achievements that "make people laugh, and then think", or, as Yahoo puts it: "Research that makes you go 'huh?"

The Guardian reports that among other winners this year were "a man stung dozens of times by bees, mathematicians who wanted to know whether a man could physically be able to sire 600 sons, and chemists who un-boiled an egg".

Further back, there have been scores of eccentric winners. Among those to walk away with an IG Nobel gong include scientists who undertook studies involving levitating a live frog with magnets and teaching pigeons to understand the difference between Monet and Picasso.

Other researchers recognised at the Ig Nobels included those who looked into the effect of country music on suicides and experimented with Coca Cola as a spermicide.

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