The strangest experiments in the history of science

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Nikola Tesla, according to his own statement, invented the “death rays”. Vladimir Demikhov transplanted the puppy’s head to the dog. Soviet scientists are famous for their pioneering experiments on cardiopulmonary bypass. Yellow fever, according to Firf, was not contagious.

Everyone knows from literature and cinema the image of a mad scientist who, through his experiments, calls out monsters like the Frankenstein or Golem monster. However, history shows that the imagination of writers is not far from the truth. We present several crazy experiments in the history of science.

Rays of death of Nikola Tesla

Heat rays first appeared in Herbert Wells’ novel as the terrible weapon of Martian invaders. However, after only a couple of decades, in 1931, the great scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla announced to the whole world that he really managed to create the “death rays”.

Scientists are still arguing whether Tesla actually managed to create a weapon that releases a stream of charged particles from a vacuum chamber, as the Serbian genius claimed.

Tesla himself wrote in 1934 that he could only finish a couple of details – his calculations had to be correct with an accuracy of 10%. The inventor was about to deploy his “cannons” emitting death rays across the entire American border.

Two-headed dog of Vladimir Demikhov

Vladimir Demikhov experimented on animals by transplanting vital organs to them. After successful operations on transplanting hearts and lungs to dogs, he finally took up the main organ – the head.

In 1954, Demikhov successfully transplanted the puppy’s head, shoulders and forepaws onto the neck of an adult dog. Both heads remained conscious, taking food and water, until the two-headed chimera died two days after the operation.

Demikhov repeated his experience several times. The survivability record was set by a two-headed dog that lived for a month.

Gabriel Bordeaux experiments on a severed head

In 1905, doctor Gabriel Borje was present at the guillotining of the criminal Henri Langil. Immediately after the execution, Borje conducted several eerie psychological experiments on his severed head. According to the doctor, for several seconds Langil’s head remained conscious and retained facial expressions.

Here is what the doctor writes:

The eyelids and lips of the guillotined moved within 5-6 seconds after execution. <…> I waited for the cramps to stop. Langel’s face calmed down, his eyelids half-closed, just like those of the dying, whom I observe almost daily. When I called the criminal loudly by the name – “Langil!” – his eyelids slowly rose.

– Gabriel Borje, 1905

Cyborg dog Sergei Bryukhonenko

Soviet scientists are famous for their pioneering work on artificial blood supply. Sergei Bryukhonenko created in 1926 an artificial blood supply apparatus, which he dubbed the “auto-projector”. The auto-spotlight was two mechanically controlled pumps with a complex valve system.

This machine has been successfully applied to the dog’s head, separated from the body. Life in it was supported by an auto-projector, supplying blood instead of a heart for two hours.

The dog’s head reacted to sounds and light signals, and even ate a piece of cheese. Bryukhonenko claimed that having stopped the device, he removed all the blood from the animal’s head, and then again launched the auto-projector, causing the “cyborg” to come to life.

Stabbing Ford’s emetic cocktail

At the beginning of the 19th century, medical student Stubbins Fierf of Philadelphia conducted one of the most disgusting experiments in the history of science. He was interested in yellow fever, which was widespread in America at that time.

Observing the patients, the future doctor came to the conclusion that this disease is not contagious. To confirm his theory, Ford used the vomit of one of the patients. He smeared it with his eyes, injected the substance into an open wound, and even took it inside.

Ford was wrong: yellow fever is a very dangerous infectious disease. Once in the circulatory system, its microbes quickly spread throughout the body. However, the mad physician was lucky – the experiment with vomiting did not harm Ford in any way.

Winthrop Kellogg Mowgli Monkey

Most readers are familiar with Kipling’s tales of the human baby Mowgli raised by a wolf pack, or with movies about Tarzan from the monkey genus. In 1931, Winthrop Kellogg decided to perform the opposite experiment: raise a monkey as a person.

The scientist took home a seven-month-old female Chimpanzee Gua, which he began to raise on an equal footing with his 10-month-old son Donald. Kellogg regularly compared his son’s abilities with chimpanzees.

It turned out that Gua coped with all tasks better than a boy, except for mastery of the language. The outcome of the experiment was unexpected – nine months later, Donald began to imitate the “sister”. Instead of using the learned words, he imitated her sounds when he wanted to eat.

Kellogg had to urgently interrupt the experiment so as not to harm the development of the child. The gua was again sent to where they got it – to the monkey nursery.


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The article is written and prepared by our foreign editors from different countries around the world – material edited and published by Ordo News staff in our US newsroom press.