Frog-sniffing scientists win Ig Nobel —
and so does the guy responsible for neuticles

Mike Tyler’s team, from the University of Adelaide, has won the Ig Nobel biology prize for its work on frog smells. Each frog has a characteristic odour when stressed.

This frog smells like cashew nuts
when stressed

“Most of the tree frogs have odours which resemble either peanuts or cashew nuts,” he says. “It’s very sweet.”

He says another group of frogs have a distinct curry smell. “In fact one is a sweet Bombay curry… And there’s another one which is more like one of the north Indian chilli-laden curries.”

Tyler and team have also found about 20 frogs that smell like cut grass and then “there are some rancid ones”.

Other winners iclude an experiment started in 1927 involving ultra-slow moving drops of black tar or pitch falling from a funnel. The drops happen only about once a decade and have yet to be observed (the one in 2000 was missed when video eqipment failed…). The US inventor of ‘neuticles’, artificial dog testicles, available in three sizes and three degrees of firmness was honoured with the Ig Nobel medicine prize.

A full list of winners can be viewed at the official Ig Nobel 2005 page.