The pick of the strange science that won Ig Nobel prizes this year – Chewing gum forensics, sex as a decongestant and attempts to find the smell of fear all scooped accolades at the 2021 Ig Nobel award ceremony, with Feedback watching on

Source: Hisashi Murakami, Claudio Feliciani, Yuta Nishiyama, Katsuhiro Nishinari. Mutual anticipation can contribute to self-organization in human crowds. Science Advances, 2021.

A Cosmic Ray Event Pinpoints the Viking Landing in Canada – The celestial storm produced carbon-14 atoms found in the rings of a tree felled by Norse explorers, proving they made it to North America 1,000 years ago.

Source: Margot Kuitems, et al. Evidence for European presence in the Americas in ad 1021. Nature, 2021.

Disturbing Answers to the Mystery of Tuskless Female Elephants – Poaching brings evolutionary pressure for tusklessness

Source: Chris T. Darimont, Fanie Pelletier. Of war, tusks, and genes. Science, 2021.

Watch this wooden knife cut effortlessly through juicy, medium-well-done steak – Also: A hardened wood nail performed as well as its stainless steel counterpart.

Source: Bo Chen, et al. Hardened wood as a renewable alternative to steel and plastic. Matter, 2021.

Origins of domesticated horses traced to north Caucasus region, study finds – Horses were first domesticated in the northern Caucasus region, before conquering the rest of Europe and Asia within a few centuries, according to research published Wednesday by the journal Nature.

Source: Pablo Librado, et al. The origins and spread of domestic horses from the Western Eurasian steppes. Nature, 2021.

Haunting lemur songs have a rhythm similar to human music – Human music often has a natural rhythm to it, and the roots of that rhythm might stretch back to the ancestors we shared with indris, a type of lemur

Source: Chiara De Gregorio, et al. Categorical rhythms in a singing primate. Current Biology, 2021.

Martian floods? Scientists say rover found evidence – NASA's Perseverance rover discovered evidence that the Jezero crater on Mars it touched down in was once a lake bed fed by a river with floods, scientists say.

Source: Perseverance rover reveals an ancient delta-lake system and flood deposits at Jezero crater, Mars. Science, .

Morphable Materials Based on Neutrally Stable Units – Creating intelligent, shape-changing materials is a particular focus in the field of materials science currently. However, the technology is still fairly new.

Source: Gaurav Chaudhary, S. Ganga Prasath, Edward Soucy, L. Mahadevan. Totimorphic assemblies from neutrally stable units. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2021.

A planet 6,000 light years from Earth reveals how the end of our solar system will look – A darkened planet circling the feeble remnant of a burned-out star about 6,000 light-years from Earth shows what our own solar system will look like at the end.

Source: J. W. Blackman, et al. A Jovian analogue orbiting a white dwarf star. Nature, 2021.

Gun violence rose 30 per cent in the US during the covid-19 pandemic – Gun violence rose overall in the US during the covid-19 pandemic. The highest increase was seen in Minnesota, while Alaska had a dip in gun violence cases

Source: Paddy Ssentongo, et al. Gun violence incidence during the COVID-19 pandemic is higher than before the pandemic in the United States. Scientific Reports, 2021.