Scientists have conducted thousands and thousands of experiments over the last several centuries. Many of those experiments have given us cures to deadly diseases and modern wonders that have made our lives better. However, some researchers crossed all the ethical boundaries to conduct crazy experiments that they thought would lead to wonderful results. Here we take a look at some of the craziest scientific experiments that will leave you shocked. They were not just crazy but borderline evil.
Top 10 craziest scientific experiments
10- The dung baby
Back in the 1500s, a physician named Paracelsus worked primarily on psychotherapy and toxicology. He experimented with how you could create a tiny baby or a homunculus by yourself. The physician believed that the real babies are corrupted and impure as they come out of a woman’s ******. To create a pure homunculus, he proposed putting semen in a bottle full of horse shit for 40 days. When the little creature would begin to form, you need to feed it with blood for another 40 days. Indeed one of the craziest scientific experiments.
9- Separating twins and triplets
Through the 1960s and 1970s, psychologists ran an experiment funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. The researchers separated twins and triplets from one another at the time of childbirth and adopted them as singlets. The experiment was kept secret until three identical triplets found one another in 1980. Unsurprisingly, they had no clue at first that they were siblings. One of the brothers said, “We were robbed of 20 years of togetherness.” The experiment was downright inhuman, but the researchers tried to justify it by saying they were doing good for the children.
8- Gynecological experiments on slave women
J. Marion Sims is often hailed as the father of modern gynecology. Sims performed his brutal medical experiments on slave women while trying to find treatment to the vesico-vaginal fistula. It caused the women terrible suffering, especially considering the researcher performed surgeries without anesthesia. Sims believed the experiments were “not painful enough” to require anesthesia.
7- The syphilis studies
Wellesley College scientist Susan Reverby recently made an explosive revelation that the US Public Health Service and Guatemalan government conducted a study that involved infecting prisoners and mental patients with syphilis in the 1940s. The researchers used several unethical means to infect the subjects without their informed consent. In 2010, former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton issued an official apology for the experiments.
In a related study conducted between 1932 and 1972, scientists invited about 400 people in Tuskegee, Alabama with syphilis into a free program to treat them. But the patients were denied all treatments because the scientists wanted to see how the disease progressed if left untreated.
6- Two-headed dogs
Russian scientist Vladimir Demikhov was obsessed with transplantation. He conducted most of his experiments – such as heart transplants and lung transplants – on animals. In 1954, he transplanted the head, shoulders and front legs of a dog onto another dog’s neck. Both the heads were active and conscious for a few days until the two-headed dog died. Demikhov repeated the experiment multiple times. The longest surviving two-headed dog lasted for about a month. Those were some of the craziest scientific experiments.
5- Milgram experiments
In 1961, noted Yale psychologist Stanely Milgram began an experiment to find out how and why millions of people participated in the Holocaust. Were they simply following the orders from the top, even after knowing that what they were asked to do was cruel and inhuman? In the experiments, each pair was divided into a teacher and a learner. But one of them was an actor, so only one was the true test subject. Every time the actor answered the question incorrectly, the test subject would push a button to administer an electric shock to the actor. At first, almost all subjects wanted to stop the experiment when the student (actor) began screaming (they were just acting as there was no real electric shock). But when they were given an order, the subjects continued to push the button. When the subjects learned the reality of the experiment later, many said they were traumatized for life after realizing they were capable of such cruel behavior.
4- The ‘monster study’
In 1939, a group of speech researchers led by Wendell Johnson began an experiment to prove their theory that stuttering was a learned behavior arising from a child’s anxiety about speaking. They used 22 orphans – yes, orphans – where one group of children was continually told that they had stutters while the other group was given positive enforcement. The group that received negative enforcement did develop self-esteem issues, though it failed to induce stuttering. It was later described as “The Monster Study” by the New York Times.
3- Sigmund Freud’s treatment of nervous illness
A woman named Emma Eckstein came to Sigmund Freud to get treatments for a nervous illness. Freud diagnosed her with excessive masturbation and hysteria and proposed that his friend could treat it by cauterizing her nose. During the operation, Freud and his friend burned her nasal passages and disfigured her permanently.
2- Nazi medical experiments
Nazi scientists led by Josef Mengele conducted horrific experiments at Auschwitz to prove the racial supremacy of Aryans. Hundreds died during his experiments. Mengele also used prisoners to test chemicals for infectious diseases and chemical warfare. The Nazis would put prisoners in freezing cold temperatures for aviation experiments. They would tie off women’s breasts to see how long it took their children to die of starvation.
1- The Death Ray
Nikola Tesla was a genius, but he is also known to have conducted some of the craziest scientific experiments one could imagine. In later years of his life, he was working on a superweapon called the Death Ray that could shoot down “10,000 enemy planes at a distance of 200 miles.” The weapon would run via “teleforce.” He tried to sell it to the US government and many European countries.