The Ig Nobel Prizes are parodies of the Nobel Prizes given out each autumn for 10 unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research. They have been awarded since 1991, with the stated aim to "honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think". The awards can be veiled criticism or satire but are also used to point out that even absurd-sounding avenues of research can yield useful knowledge.
The name is a play on the words ignoble ("characterized by baseness, lowness, or meanness") and the Nobel Prize. The pronunciation used during the ceremony is /ˌɪɡnoʊˈbɛl/ig-noh-bel, not like the word "ignoble".