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Alligators Bellowing in Heliox [Ig Informal Lecture]

Here is the Ig Informal Lecture by the winners of the 2020 Ig Nobel Acoustics Prize.

The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that make people LAUGH, then THINK. In the Ig Informal Lectures, some days after the ceremony, the new Ig Nobel Prize winners attempt to explain what they did, and why they did it. [In non-pandemic years, the lectures happen at MIT, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, two days after the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. But in the pandemic year 2020, it’s all happening online.]

The 2020 Ig Nobel Prize for Acoustics was awarded to Stephan Reber, Takeshi Nishimura, Judith Janisch, Mark Robertson, and Tecumseh Fitch, for inducing a female Chinese alligator to bellow in an airtight chamber filled with helium-enriched air. They documented that research, in this study:


We are releasing The Ig Informal Lectures, one at a time, here on, and on YouTube. Here are the release dates:

  • November 26th, 2020: Economics
  • December 3rd, 2020: Psychology
  • December 17th, 2020: Medicine
  • December 24th, 2020: Physics
  • December 31st, 2020: Entomology
  • January 7th, 2021: Acoustics
  • February 4, 2021: Materials Science
Improbable Research