1. Russian "dog-head" experiments
In the 1940's, Soviet Doctor Sergei S. Bryukhoenko conducted a series of studies which involved the decapitation of dogs. Essentially, severed dog heads were kept "alive" and animated through the use of heart-lung machines.
There's even a film, titled 'Experiments in the Revival of Organisms', which shows the experiment being performed in graphic detail.
And while some today speculate that the film is a faked recreation, the experiments themselves were well documented. Brukhonenko's research was vital to the development of open-heart procedures in Russia, which goes to show how even the most bizarre and creepy of experiments can have positive effects.
2. This Little Piggy Went For A Swim
Have you ever wondered what happens to a pig carcass when it is left at the bottom of the ocean? Apparently it's an important question.
While scientists know a lot about how bodies decompose, they don't quite know enough about how they decompose under water. That's why researches Gail Anderson and Lynne Bell decided to study the effects of deep ocean pressures, temperatures, and life, on the decomposition process of pig carcasses.
Some highlights from Anderson and Bell's reports: "Within minutes of placement, large numbers of Munida quadrispina Benedict (squat lobsters, Family Galatheidae) arrived at Carcass 1 and 2 and began to pick at the skin... Scanning the camera around the area showed that very large numbers of M. quadrispina were actively moving towards the carcasses from all areas."
“On Day 2, a substantial portion of the rump area of Carcass 1 was removed, and a large flap of skin and flesh from the abdominal area was opened.”
"On Day 4
M. magister was seen pulling the tongue out of the mouth and consuming it.”
3. Code Name MK-ULTRA
Project MKUltra—sometimes referred to as the CIA's mind control program—was the code name given to an illegal program of experiments on human subjects, designed and undertaken by the CIA. The human experiments were intended to identify and develop drugs and procedures to be used in interrogations and torture, in order to weaken the individual to force confessions through mind control.
The research centered heavily around chemical interrogation and, in particular, LSD dosing.
Operation Midnight Climax, for example, had the CIA hiring prostitutes to dose clients with LSD to see the effects of the drug on unwilling participants. The very idea of chemical mind control experiments, illegal ones, conducted by THE GOVERNMENT, should strike one as horrific.
Makes you wonder what other shady research is going on to this day.
Source: CIA Library
4. Manipulated Abuse
Philip Zimbardo's famous Stanford Prisoner Experiment took place in 1971. The psychiatrist took 24 undergraduates and assigned them roles as either prisoners or guards, in a mock prison on the campus research grounds. The purpose of the experiment was to study the causes of conflict between military guards and prisoners, and see the effects of imprisonment and power on the human psyche.
After just a few days, 1/3 of the guards exhibited sadistic, authoritarian tendencies, even resorting to psychological abuse. Two prisoners had to be removed early due to emotional trauma, and the whole experiment only lasted six of the planned 14 days. It showed just how easily normal individuals can become abusive, in situations where it is encouraged.
Source: Stanford University.
5. Woman Lets Insect Live Under Her Skin
The sand flea is a disgusting creature. It burrows into the skin of a host, where it swells, defecates, and produces eggs, before dying 4 to 6 weeks later, still embedded in the skin.
Though researches know a lot about them, their sex lives were not always very well understood. That is, until one Madagascar researcher decided to let one of these insects burrow into her foot and live there for a whole 2 months. The researcher's observations? She figured out that the parasites most likely have sex when the females are already inside their hosts.
6. Stanley Milgram's Obedience Experiment
A famous one, you may have heard of this one. The Stanley Milgram "shock experiments", performed in the 60's, showed just how far people's morals could be pushed when they were subjected to an authority figure.
This psychological study asked volunteers to participate in an experiment where they would deliver electric shocks to other test subjects. What they didn't know, however, is that the experiment had nothing to do with the electric shock at all - the shock was fake, and the other subject was an actor.
Meanwhile, a doctor requested that the subject deliver greater and greater shocks to the actor, even when the false "test subject" started to scream in pain and (in some cases) die. In reality, the experiment was to see how obedient people would be when a doctor told them to do something that was obviously horrific and possibly fatal.
Later, many participants claimed
they were traumatized for life after discovering that they were capable
of such inhumane behavior.
7. 1969 Monkey Drug Trials
Animal experimentation can be very useful, but sometimes it can go too far. The monkey drug trials of 1969 are one such example.
Essentially, a large group of monkeys were trained to inject themselves with an assortment of drugs, including morphine, alcohol, cocaine, and amphetamines. Once the monkeys learned how to administer the drugs on their own, they were left to their own devices with a large supply of each drug.
The animals became so addicted and physically and mentally disturbed, that the effects were horrendous. Some monkeys tried so hard to escape their cages that they broke their arms in the process. The cocaine monkeys suffered convulsions, and in some cases they tore their own fingers off. One of the ampthetamine monkeys tore off the fur from its arm and abdomen.
Death was common.