This man became a goat for three days and won a prize - all in the name of science


Ever tire of being a human?

Briton Thomas Thwaites took his dissatisfaction a step further and decided to live as a goat for three days - and won a prize for his efforts.

We all know the feeling: it's Tuesday morning, you've got deadlines coming out of your ears and you yearn for a simpler life. In a field. Eating grass.

(Michael Dwyer/AP)
Atsuki Higashiyama of Japan demonstrates his own research - how the world looks between your legs (Michael Dwyer/AP)

Admittedly this might not sound like your cup of tea, but who needs tea when the world's most prestigious spoof Nobel committee wants to reward you for the attempt?

Thwaites designed prosthetic limbs that allowed him to walk on all fours and graze with goats on a farm in the Alps. Sounds idyllic, doesn't it?

He published his research in a book entitled GoatMan: How I Took A Holiday From Being Human, and the work earned recognition from the annual awards, which are awarded for the most unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research.

(Michael Dwyer/AP)
Master of ceremonies Marc Abrahams holds up the 2016 Ig Nobel award (Michael Dwyer/AP)

Thwaites, wearing his prosthetic limbs, said the award was a huge honour as he collected the prize at a ceremony at Harvard University in the US.

He said: "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."

Other notable winners included German car manufacturers Volkswagen, who won the Ig Nobel chemistry prize for "solving" the problem of car emissions (in reference to their attempts to cheat emissions tests for new vehicles in 2015).

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

His work, Being A Beast, saw him take on the perspective of a badger, an otter, a fox, a red deer and a swift.

Foster, a fellow at the University of Oxford, told the audience: "We have five glorious senses. Normally we use only one of them - vision. It's a very distorting lens because it's linked to our cognition. That means we get only about 20% of the information that we can squeeze out of this extraordinary world.

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

That settles it - we're packing up and becoming goats. Or squirrels. Or... oof. Being an animal is hard...