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Associated Press

Research on beards, wads of gum wins 2021 Ig Nobel prizes

Beards aren’t just cool and trendy — they might also be an evolutionary development to help protect a man’s delicate facial bones from a punch to the face. The winners of the 31st annual Ig Nobels being announced Thursday included researchers who figured out how to better control cockroaches on U.S. Navy submarines; animal scientists who looked at whether it’s safer to transport an airborne rhinoceros upside-down; and a team that figured out just how disgusting that discarded gum stuck to your shoe is. For the second year in a row, the ceremony was a roughly 90-minute prerecorded digital event because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, said Marc Abrahams, editor of the Annals of Improbable Research magazine, the event’s primary sponsor.