It's surprisingly easy to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize

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It's Shockingly Easy to Be Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize

Here's a little secret about the Nobel Peace Prize. It's really easy to get nominated. So much so, that past nominees include Benito Mussolini (1935), Adolf Hitler (1939) and Joseph Stalin (1945 and 1949). And those are just the dictators on the list.

Convicted killer and Crips gang co-founder-turned-anti-gang activist, Stanley "Tookie" Williams had not one, but five nods. Talk show host Rush Limbaugh has also been nominated. And so has Vladimir Putin.

MORE COVERAGE: Top Nobel Peace Prize contenders

It's shockingly easy to get nominated. Partly because there's no cap on the number of nominees in a given year. In 2015 alone there were 273 candidates in the running.

Now, as Alfred Nobel envisioned it, the Peace Prize should go to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

Surely, all 273 of this year's candidates don't fit that description. But they don't have to. The actual nominating rules are a bit more lax. Really, the only rule is you can't nominate yourself.

Instead, all you have to do is convince anyone who meets this set of fairly broad criteria to submit a nomination on your behalf — either by mail or simply by emailing the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The deadline for submission, by the way, is Feb. 1.

Surprising/Shocking Nobel Prize Nominees
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It's surprisingly easy to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize
Premier Benito Mussolini, of Italy and leader of the Italian Fascists, poses for camera, November 22, 1923. (AP Photo)
A portrait of Adolf Hitler, head of the Fascist movement in Germany taken around Nov. 4, 1930, wearing his Fascist uniform. (AP Photo)
Russian Premier Josef Stalin at Teheran in 1943. (AP-Photo)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 20: Pictures in a program for the memorial service for executed co-founder of the Crips gang Stanley 'Tookie' Williams show him at an early age on December 20, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. After his days as a Crip, Williams was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his anti-gang efforts. Williams had also co-authored such books as, 'Life in Prison,' encouraging kids to stay out of gangs, and his memoir, 'Blue Rage, Black Redemption.' (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL - MARCH 15: Rush Limbaugh during the Els for Autism Pro-Am on the Champions Course at the PGA National Golf Club on March 15, 2010 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 08: Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting for Russia's Teacher of the Year Competition at the Sirius education center for children on October 8, 2015 in Sochi, Russia, Vladimir Putin, who turned 63 on Wednesday, is having a work trip to Sochi. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)

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