Improbable TV

Here are some videos other people have made about our work, and some videos we ourselves made. (NOTE: The video archive of Ig Nobel Prize ceremonies has its own page on this site.)

Some Documentaries about the Ig Nobel Prizes

Journalists and documentary makers have pointed many cameras at Improbable Research projects and/or Ig Nobel Prize winners and things. Here are some of the resulting videos.

Japan’s NHK network produced a wildly popular (broadcast on Christmas eve 2002) documentary about the Ig Nobel Prizes:

French company FLC Concepts produced the 2012 documentary The Funny Side of Science, celebrating some of the Ig Nobel Prize winners. It premiered (in French) on the France 5 public TV network, and was then adapted as an episode of Sweden’s Vetenskapens Värld and elsewhere. Here is the English-language version:

Bahram Sadeghi of The Netherlands produced a series of 6 minimovies that look lovingly at several individual Ig Nobel Prize winners:

The Improbable Video Series

Our series of tiny bits-and-pieces videos peeks at improbable research — research that makes people laugh, then think. Here, below,
is a skimpy guide to these little videos. We might make some more.

Get notified whenever there’s a new episode by subscribing to the
Improbable Research channel on YouTube. It’s free.


Related Links: The net, the flea, the duck and its lover
Related Links: Bedding, functions, and nails
Related Links: Cuticles, and two reactions


Related Links: Tea, a resume, chairs
Related Links: Shot, history
Related Links: Swallowing, storage
Bonus Links:
Swallowing, storage
Related Links: Incompetence, claw, claw



Related Links:
Date, nut
Related Links: Coca-Cola, Classic
Bonus Links: #1, #2
Related Links:


Related Links:
Random digits
Related Links:
Swear words
Related Links:
Related Links:


Related Links:
Big Bank Opera Act 1 rehearsal.
Bonus Links: #1, #2, #3
Related Links:
Big Bank Opera Act 3 rehearsal.
Bonus Links: 1 2 3
Related Links:
Professor Lipscomb demonstrates how to tie a string tie.
Bonus Links: 1 2
Related Links:
2009 Ig Nobel Ceremony Act 1.
Bonus Links: Maria Ferrante, Ben Sears





The McGonagall Experiments

Some poets, and some poems, are remembered long after they have died. William Topaz McGonagall is the false-gold standard against which all other are measured.



Our YouTube channel

Get notified whenever there’s a new episode by subscribing to the Improbable Research channel on YouTube. It’s got even more videos than you’ll find on this page


Occasionally-Asked Questions about the Improbable Research videos

What are these things?

Our own videos are experiments that we hope will lead you — and us — to interesting places. Most are three-minute pastiches about research that makes people laugh, then makes them think.

FORMAT: In some episodes, the format is, roughly speaking, similar to Monty Python. But the content is all real. An episode may be about one idea. Or it may have several different threads, some related, some not.

What’s the point?

To make people laugh, and to get them curious about all kinds of things they might otherwise overlook.

What’s the range of topics?

All branches of science, technology, medicine, history, language, art, and everything else.

What can I expect in a typical episode?

To be surprised.

Why does each episode tell only part of a story (or parts of several stories)?

These videos make people wonder about all sorts of bizarre things. In the tradition of Perils of Pauline, they often leave you hanging at a most intriguing moment. So… how can you learn what happens to the people and topics in a particular episode? Through the magic of the Internet, of course. For each episode, we provide a small number of links to these people and topics. (Why a small number? The better, we hope, to entice you, rather than overwhelm you.)

Who makes these things?

The Improbable Research people — the same people who produce the magazine, the annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, the web site (and blog), the monthly newsletter mini-AIR, and more.

Who’s in the episodes?

Almost anything, more or less.

Is it okay to make copies?

Yes. These episodes have a Creative Commons license (Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives)
We encourage you to make and distribute copies.

Creative Commons License

How can I subscribe to the videos?

Subscribe to our channel on YouTube. Just go to and click the yellow “Subscribe” button on the left side of the page. If you don’t already have a free YouTube account, you’ll need to sign up for one first.