n 1954 a Russian scientist called Vladimir Demikhov became a real life Dr. Frankenstein when he unveiled a monstrous creation, a surgically created two-headed dog. Demikhov grafted the head, shoulders and front legs of a small puppy onto the body of a huge, fully grown German shepherd. The mad scientist showed his monstrosity off for reporters, who watched as both heads of the dog lapped at bowls of milk. The milk dribbled out of the disconnected esophageal tube of the puppy head as the media watched in horror. The dog died within a short time due to tissue rejection, but Demikhov made a total of 20 of the creatures during his career. While the experiments do seem like mad science, they actually had a noble purpose. They were an attempt to figure out a way to perfect surgical transplant methods. Demikhov intended to be the first doctor to complete human heart and lung transplants, but he was beaten to the punch by Dr. Christian Baarnard. Most scholars, however, credit the Russian with paving the way for modern transplant medicine with his experiments.
German scientist Karl August Weinhold believed that the human brain was like a battery that was attached to several wires, namely the nervous system. This real-life Dr. Frankenstein set out to prove his point in 1817, when he performed an experiment on a Karl August Weinhold kitten. In his own words, Weinhold provided explicitly gory details of his experiment:[The] animal lost all life, all sensory functions, voluntary muscles movement, and eventually its pulse. Afterward, I filled both cavities with the aforementioned amalgam (zinc and silver). For almost 20 minutes, the animal got into such a life-tension that it raised its head, opened its eyes... finally got up with obvious effort, hopped around, and sank down exhausted.
Oklahoma researchers Louis Jolyon West and Chester M. Pierce wanted to find out would happen when an elephant tripped on acid. On August 1962, the researchers went to the local zoo and found a suitable subject named Tusko. Zoo director Warren Thomas who fired an LSD-filled syringe bullet right into Tuskos rump. The syringe contained 297 milligrams of LSD, which was 3,000 times the normal dose for a human. The researchers disclosed that they wanted to see if LSD would induce mustha temporary aggression that male elephants experienceso they opted for the absurdly high dose. The result was less than spectacular: Almost immediately, Tusko moved around erratically. And then he promptly keeled over and died. The disastrous experiment made headlines and forced the researchers to search for any meaningful lessons. Thomas suggested that the LSD could be used to cull large and troublesome herds. Four months after the debacle, the scientists stated the obvious in a scientific journal: Elephants were highly sensitive to LSD.highly sensitive
This one falls under the category of incredibly cruel that I mentioned earlier. Its not so weird, but I feel it needs to be highlighted for the sheer awfulness of the studies. Scientists studied the effects of smoking on animals for years, and only managed to find that lung cancer was related to smoking after decades of research. Much of this is likely because so many of the experiments were funded by tobacco companies and were hardly models of scientific procedures. In the decades of research on tobaccos health effects, thousands of animals were forced to smoke countless cigarettes. These are weird because they were such poor experiments on a topic that was pretty much already known. Scientists had known for years that there was a very high correlation between smoking and lung cancer by studying the smoking habits of lung cancer patients.
Dr. Dorothy Spangenberg, a scientist with the Eastern Virginia Medical School, wanted to know what effects gravity would have on future humans born in space. And what better way to find out than to launch a few thousand jellyfish there first (seriously, no one had a better idea?). On June 5, 1991, she and her team packed 2,478 baby jellyfish alongside the crew of the Columbia space shuttle for their experiment. The jellyfish adapted well in orbit, and their numbers soon reached 60,000. Unfortunately, when they were brought back to Earth, these space-borne jellyfish were noted to have greater pulsing abnormalities than usual, which was a fancy way of saying they had vergito because they couldnt adapt to the gravity. The scientists concluded that humans, who share similar gravity-sensing appendages with the jellyfish, would likely experience the same problems if they were also born in space.