Verum was yawning. It was that kind of a day – she woke up yawning and simply couldn’t stop. The weather didn’t help. It was drizzling and the temperature was just cool enough to curl up under a blanket and nap. Verum now wondered if a nap was the right course of action. She had nearly made up her mind to catch forty winks.
Right on time, her crystal ball started spinning and humming, waking Verum up. When the news became known to her, Verum burst out laughing. She said, “Mysticals, today’s news is related to an upside-down rhinoceros.”
A puzzled Orak replied, “How so?”
“American wildlife veterinarian (a doctor for animals) Robin Radiclffe experimented on rhinos. It was conducted in Namibia along with the Namibia Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism,” said Verum, “For this, they hung 12 black rhinoceroses upside-down from a crane for 10 minutes to see what effect this position had on the animals.”
“That’s a strange experiment,” said Scorch.
“Well, that’s why they won the 2021 Ig Nobel award for Transportation for this experiment,” replied Verum.
“What are the Ig Nobel Prizes?” said Scorch.
“The Ig Nobel Prize is an annual prize awarded to unusual or trivial scientific research in 10 categories! A scientific humor magazine called ‘Annals of Improbable Research’ organizes the awards,” said an excited Orak, “This award copies and makes fun of the Nobel Prizes. That’s why the name Ig + Noble makes up ‘ignoble’ or not noble. It aims to honor achievements that first make people laugh and then make them think.”
“Though I must say,” added Orak, “I don’t see how an upside-down rhino is supposed to make me think.”
“While doing animal conservation work in Africa, rhinoceroses have to be shifted between different areas of the habitat. For this, the rhinos are tranquilized (calmed down with a medicine), tied to a helicopter, and flown to their destination,” explained Felix, “But until recently, nobody has checked the effects of such a journey on the animals’ healths. That’s where Radcliffe and team come in.”
“You’re right, Felix!” replied Verum, “This study provided Radcliffe and team with evidence that the rhinos did better by hanging upside-down than simply lying chest down or on their side. The study was quite useful!”