Science experiments are for the betterment of humans, but some of them are scary especially the animal experiments. Scientists can get a little too excited to know the results and can cross the lines of moralities sometimes.
Though the intention of scientists is pure, the methodology they opt for is weird and scary. On top of it, animals usually fall victim to such scientific experiments. Today let us learn about 11 eccentric animal experiments in the last 100 years.
An Elephant on LSD
This animal experiment has to be one of the cruelest and eccentric animal experiments in the world. A group of scientists thought of giving LSD to one elephant in August 1962. They just wanted to see the reaction of elephants when they get high. They injected 297 milligrams of LSD into the body of an elephant.
297 grams of LSD is three thousand times the amount required for humans. 297 grams was a bit too much, even for an elephant. As the LSD started taking effect on its body, it started running and panicking, and it fell drop dead after some time.
Rhesus Macaque Monkeys
Harry Harlow, a comparative psychologist, started researching on isolation and depression after his wife’s death. He used rhesus macaque monkeys for his experiment that was conducted in the 1970s.
He isolated 16 baby monkeys from their mothers after their birth. He put the baby monkeys in separate metal cages, which barred them from seeing outside separately.
Four of the baby monkeys stayed in the cage for 30 days; the next four stayed for 6 months, and the last four stayed for 12 months. The result – baby monkeys became extremely anti-social, disturbed, and were unable to have proper social or sexual relations.
The eccentric experiment didn’t stop here. The female baby monkeys had to endure rape racks where male monkeys raped the female monkeys. Some of them became mothers, and they ignored their babies. But one particular female monkey held the baby’s head on the floor and munched on the baby’s fingers and feet without flinching!
Bringing Back the Dead
Robert E. Cornish, an American scientist, wanted to bring back the dead. In 1933, he used a teeterboard to achieve reviving the dead. He experimented on 4 dogs and named them Lazarus 1, 2, 3, and 4. He placed them on the teeterboard, which kept the blood moving (so that it doesn’t coagulate).
He injected adrenaline and anticoagulants in the blood and revived two dogs – Lazarus 1 and 2. It was a success, but the two dogs were revived blind and with several mental damages. They had to be put to sleep because of severe brain damage.
He tried on dead humans but failed. A prisoner who was sentenced to death volunteered to this experiment, but the permission from the police was denied. Thanks to these experiments, Cornish was shown the door from the University of California.
Head Transplant of Monkeys
In the 1970s, Robert Joseph White, an American neurosurgeon, severed the head of a healthy and normal monkey and then attached it to a different monkey. The cranial nerves were not damaged, and the new circulatory system pumped blood to the brain. The head transplant succeeded.
The monkey head even tried to bite the finger of one of the group members of White’s team. But the monkey couldn’t move his body because the brain was not attached to the spinal cord as there was no known method then. Another problem was the immune rejection. The monkey lived only for 9 days and succumbed to death.
White further practiced on dead human bodies in a mortuary. This experiment was cruel, but it paved ways for the possibility of a head transplant of humans which is still being researched to make it a reality one day.
She was also termed as earmouse because an ear grew on a mouse, thanks to the scientists. Scientists injected the cartilage cells into the mouse. The cells grew in the mouse in the shape of a human ear. The experiment was conducted in 1997.
Even in that pre-internet age, the image went viral. There were many protests against genetic engineering. Funny enough, the experiment never used genetic engineering by scientists. This is one of the very few animal experiments that didn’t do much harm to the animal.
Hybrid of Monkey and Man
In the 1920s, a Soviet scientist, Ilya Ivanov, decided to produce a hybrid of a monkey and a human being. He tried making monkeys pregnant with human sperm multiple times. He failed. He then tried to impregnate humans with an orangutan’s sperm. He even failed this time.
There was a theory that he did these experiments to raise an army of those hybrids who would help him to convince/persuade/coerce Europe into accepting communism. As crazy as it may sound, in reality, no one knows for sure why he conducted such weird experiments. This has to be one of the eccentric animal experiments ever conducted.
Karl August Weinhold was a German scientist who thought that our brain is like a battery attached with wires (nervous system). He wanted to prove his point, and in 1817 he performed his awful experiment on a kitty.
He first killed a three-week-old kitten by severing his head. He then attached all some wires to the nervous system and turned on the electricity. He even inserted rods of silver and zinc, each in its spinal cord. The kitten was alive, opened its eyes, raised its head, got up, hopped, and sank exhausted.
Spiders on Drugs
NASA, in 1995 wanted to understand the effect of different drugs on the weaving ability of spiders. They wanted to see which drug was more harmful to humans.
They tested LSD, speed, marijuana, and caffeine effects on the spiders. Spiders wove a beautiful but ineffective web when they were high on LSD, efficient but incomplete web when they were high on marijuana.
When they were high on speed, their speed of weaving increased, but they left huge significant gaps in between. The most horrible web weaving was observed when they were high on caffeine. The spider webs were not beautiful or efficient!
Head Fixation of Turkeys
In the 1960s, Turkey biologists of the Pennsylvania State University observed that male turkeys mated with a lifelike model of female turkeys. They wanted to see the minimum stimulus required by the males to mate with females.
They started removing each part every time, and the result didn’t change. They removed the feathers, wings, feet, tail, etc. and the males went on mating those ‘females.’ Lastly, the model had only the head, and the male turkeys continued to mate!
The researchers didn’t stop there. They put a real severed head of the female turkey, male turkey’s head, a two-year-old withered female turkey’s head, and a head made of wood. The males tried to mate with each one of them!
The biologists believed that the head fixation of male turkeys is related to their style of mating. When the male mates with females, the males cover the body of the females entirely, leaving just the head visible. So, it is like an erogenous zone for them. It is certainly one of the craziest animal experiments ever conducted!
Jellyfish in Space
Eastern Virginia Medical School’s Dr. Dorothy Spangenberg wanted to know the effects of gravity on humans who were born in space. She and her team sent 2,478 baby jellyfish with the Columbia space shuttle crew into space. To everyone’s surprise, the jellyfish not only survived but thrived very well, and the number increased from 2,478 to 60,000.
They were brought back to earth, and the jellyfish that were born in space experienced vertigo. The scientists then found out that even humans would experience the same as jellyfish, and humans similarly experience gravity.
Dolphin’s Intimacy with a Human
John Lilly was a dolphin researcher. He published a book called The Mind of The Dolphin in 1967. In that, he mentioned about his assistant Margaret Howe’s intimacy with a male dolphin.
Margaret stayed in a flooded house for 6 months with the male dolphin. She would play with the dolphin and tried to teach a few words of English. The dolphin became so friendly that he started making sexual advances!
She even stroked the ‘manhood’ of the dolphin with her hands and feet even when others were around. The funding didn’t stop when they came to know about this, but it soon stopped when the state learned that Lilly used LSD on dolphins to make them talk.