Scientists might one day dream of making headlines for their role in a cancer breakthrough, or saving an animal from extinction.
But for others, working out why wombats produce cube-shaped poo or measuring just how much pleasure can be gained from scratching an itch may be just as valuable a route to fame.
Studies of that ilk get their spell in the spotlight each year thanks to the Ig Nobel Prizes, a light-hearted spoof of the prestigious Nobel Prize that hands out 10 honours during a ceremony at Harvard University.
Prizes spanned a number of categories at the 29th incarnation of the event, where an eight-year-old girl was on hand to enforce a one-minute limit on victory speeches by declaring: "Please stop, I'm bored."
Read on for each of the winners, from a nappy-changing machine designed in Iran to an Italian study that suggested pizza can protect you from death.