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Liquid Cats? In Utero Music Players? The 10 Weirdest Scientific Studies of 2017

Liquid cats, insect gender reversal, and the RIGHT way to carry a cup of coffee. The Ig Nobel Awards celebrate the world's oddest studies—and here are the top winners from this year.

Liquid Cats? In Utero Music Players? The 10 Weirdest Scientific Studies of 2017
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Everyone loves strange research.

Each year, scientists gather at Sanders Theater at Harvard University to present the Ig Nobel Prizes to honor "research that makes people laugh, then think."

Presented by the Annals of Improbable Research, they look for the strange and unusual among actual studies from the last several years—as a parody of the actual Nobel Prizes.

(And real Nobel scientists actually present the awards to the winners.) Here's a look at this year's prize-winning participants.

Liquid cats
Liquid cats
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Cats are a cipher.

They're puzzling to scientists as well, especially physicist Marc-Antoine Fardin who specializes in rheology: The study of the flow of matter—liquids and semi-solids.

Fardin tried to answer the question of whether cats are a liquid or solid with his Physics Prize-winning entry, "The Rheology of Cats," published in the journal Rheology Bulletin.

He analyzed the ways cats seem to flow to fill bowls, jars, and the tiniest of boxes, no matter what the shape.

After employing some complicated equations and including a lot of adorable photos, Fardin's study reached this conclusion: They're both.

He also notes that "Cats are proving to be a rich model system for rheological research, both in the linear and nonlinear regimes."



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