Every year, scientists from all over the globe gather to celebrate some of their weirdest findings. Last year, the Ig Nobel conference awarded the medical prize to a group of researchers studying the impact of opera on mice who had just received heart transplants. This year, it went to pork tampons that go up your nose.
They’re not doing it to be cheeky. Sonal Soraiya accepted the Ig Nobel award on behalf of her team, which successfully treated a four-year-old with a rare blood disorder called Glanzmann’s thrombosenia. Glanzmann’s patients suffer from potentially fatal hemorrhaging due to wounds or bleeding that won’t congeal quickly enough. Soraiya and her team were able to stop the four-year-old’s dangerous nosebleeds with pork tampons twice, and he was able to leave the hospital after just three days.
“Cured salted pork crafted as a nasal tampon and packed within the nasal vaults successfully stopped nasal hemorrhage promptly, effectively, and without sequelae,” the authors wrote in their abstract. Soraiya told the Associated Press that her team relied on a traditional treatment proven to be effective because of “some clotting factors in the pork … and the high level of salt will pull in a lot of fluid from the nose.”
That said, pork tampons shouldn’t be used for all nosebleeds, Soraiya noted, or patients run a risk of infection. Other notable Ig Nobel awards went to a team that studied strange personality changes in cat-owners (due to latent parasitic infections, in theory), as well as the reaction times of Arctic reindeer to human researchers dressed up in polar bear suits.