Bleating the odds: British man who lived as goat for 3 days in Alps wins Ig Nobel Prize

Nobel Laurette Eric Maskin (R) presents the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize in Biology to Thomas Thwaites of the United Kingdom for "creating prosthetic extension of his limbs that allowed him to move in the manner of, and spend time roaming the hills in the company of, goats". © Brian Snyder
A British man who had special prostheses made so he could walk and live like a goat in the Alps for three days has won this year’s Ig Nobel prize for scientific research.

The spoof awards, given out for the most unusual achievements in scientific research, were handed out during their annual ceremony at Harvard University on Thursday. While many entries appear to be trivial, they are actually intended to tackle real-world problems.

‘Goat-man’ Thomas Thwaites, was wearing his prosthetic limbs when he accepted his prize, and said it was a “huge honor.”

“I got tired of all the worry and the pain of being a human and so I decided I would take a holiday from it all and become a goat.”

Thwaites published his research in a book entitled ‘GoatMan: How I took a Holiday From Being Human’.

He shared the biology prize with another British author, Charles Foster, who also spent time living as a variety of animals.

Foster’s work, ‘Being A Beast’, saw him seek to understand the perspectives of badgers, otters, foxes, deer and swifts.

“We have five glorious senses. Normally we use only one of them - vision. It’s a very distorting lens because it is linked to our cognition. That means we get only about 20 percent of the information that we can squeeze out this extraordinary world,” Foster said, as reported by the Press Association.

“Animals, by and large, do a good deal better.

“In an attempt to see woods as they really are without that distorting lense of vision and cognition, I tried to follow five non-human species: badgers, foxes, otters, red deer and ridiculously swifts.

“It increased my understanding of what their landscape is really like rather than landscapes colored by our colonial impressions of what those landscapes should be like.

“It also generated in me a good deal of empathy for these animals and we can do with a little more of that.”