Are cats a liquid? Why do old men have big ears? The Ig Nobel Prizes have the answers.

We did it, humen. We ultimately know the answer to the ultimate topic: Are cats a liquid or a solid?

Though it seems like the answer would be straightforward, it most definitely isn’t. And whoever figured it out merely won a major award. No , not the Nobel Prize — the Ig Nobel Prize.

Since 1991, the Ig Nobel Prizes have honored 10 of the most imaginative, thought-provoking, and frankly oddball pieces of studies each year. Past prizes have been awarded to polyester rat pants, the economic value of pet stones, and answering the age-old question, can frogs levitate?( Yes .)

On Sept. 14, this year’s winners were announced. The lucky writers, scientists, and artists were invited to Harvard University, where they were greeted by tournaments, a bespoke mini-opera, and an welcoming ceremony.( This year’s topic? Uncertainty. When asked why they chose this theme, founder Marc Abrahams responded: “I’m not sure.”)

Among the wins was research into how touching a live crocodile affects people’s willingness to gamble.

Two humen hold a crocodile in Australia in 2003. Photo by Daniel Berehulak/ Getty Images.

It all depends on whether crocodile-touching excites you, according to Matthew Rockloff and Nancy Greer from Central Queensland University. Scaredy-cats tended to become more cautious while playing video poker immediately after holding a meter-long brine crocodile. Croc buffs, on the other hand, bet more.

Playing the didgeridoo might help with sleep apnea and snoring.

David Little plays the didgeridoo in Sydney, Australia, in 2006. Photo by Torsten Blackwood/ AFP/ Getty Images.

According to a study in the British Medical Journal, regular training for a couple months might help strengthen the airways.

And, of course, can a cat be both a solid and a liquid? Yes, it can.

In a accomplishment that was part science, component doctrine, and all feline, researcher Marc-Antoine Fardin was contended that cats should technically be considered liquids. After all, if the definition of a liquid is “takes the form of any container they’re in, ” well, we’ve got photographic proof of that.

Photo via Jim/ Flickr.( I don’t know how Jim knew the internet required this picture, but I’m glad it’s here .)

Other wins included answering questions such as can identical twins tell themselves apart in old household photos?( no ); why do some people detest cheese?( it’s in their brains ); and why do old humen have such big ears?( gravitation pulls them down over hour ).

The full list of winners is available on the contest’s website.

In the end, it’s not about who’s the most groundbreaking or clever or weird. Instead, the contest is about constructing people laugh and then think.

We take things very seriously most of the time, but the truth is that good, important, life-changing run can be funny. And bad, terrible work can be funny too. The tournament invites people to look deeper and make up their intellects on their own.

“Your quick opinion about something might change — drastically — if you look at the details. Then again, it might not, ” Abrahams says.

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