Scientists Who Lick Rocks Win Special Nobel Prize

Nobel Prize

Field geologist and stratigrapher, Jan Zalasiewicz has won a special Nobel Prize in chemistry and geology for his groundbreaking work in rock licking. Other prize-winning projects include repurposing dead spiders and counting cadaver hairs.

The Nobel Prize winner is Emeritus Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Leicester. His work has appeared in such publications as New Scientist, Scientific American, and The Guardian. He is the author of The Earth After Us: What Legacy Will Humans Leave in the Rocks?, The Planet in a Pebble: A Journey Into Earth’s Deep History, and How to Read a Rock: Our Planet’s Hidden Stories, among other remarkable reads that he has penned. His breathtaking piece on rock licking appeared in The Palaeontological Association newsletter in 2017, where he observed:

“Licking the rock, of course, is part of the geologist’s and palaeontologist’s armoury of tried-and-much-tested techniques used to help survive in the field. Wetting the surface allows fossil and mineral textures to stand out sharply, rather than being lost in the blur of intersecting micro-reflections and micro-refractions that come out of a dry surface.”

Shockwaves torched the earth throughout the scientific community. Dr. Jan Zalasiewicz has been a constant contributor to geology and instrumental in moving the field into the future. But this was work that shook the very foundations of science itself. A sponsored event by the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association and the Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics Students, this special Nobel Prize is now a documented work in the “Annals of Improbable Research.”

Nobel Prize
via AP

The award is actually known as the Ig Nobels and to let you off the hook, it is a big joke. It’s an actual award event held at Harvard University but it’s an over-the-top exaggeration of the actual Nobel Prize. The players who put on the live-streamed broadcast have fun with it and contestants need to be lighthearted or they will get their feelings hurt.

Of course, their work is serious. It does contribute in some way to the field of science. But it’s head-scratching work. The kind of work that has most taxpayers scratching their heads wondering if a grant was actually awarded for the time and effort that it took to come to those findings.

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