Theo Chapman is assistant online editor at the Lowy Institute.

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Europe was a hard event to spoof but there have been one or two amusing efforts. But for a far less controversial view of human achievements there are the Ig Nobel prizes, described in this video by their founder Marc Abrahams.


The awards are organised by the Annals of Improbable Research and 'honor achievements that first make people laugh and then make them think'.

This year's physics prize went to a US-UK team who calculated the balance of forces that shape and move the hair in a human ponytail.