The 20 Most Outrageously Bizarre Science Experiments In History
With the gradual ascent of Enlightement beginning with the Renaissance whose duration peaked in the XX century, it was science who established itself as a leading force in shaping the society. Many scientific breakthroughs, made in painstaking, difficult labor and theorizing by sharpest of minds, led to a betterment of living, the extension of life-span and flourishing of health. But for every few great benefits, there have always been questionable researches.
Some of the were downright insane and today they would be unimaginable to realize. Others were in direct collision with ethics and scientific morals. Not even the famous maxim of “the goal justifying the means” mitigates the terrible or truly bizarre methods, procedures and outcomes of these most infamous acts pulled out in the name of science. Here are some of the most gut-wrenching crimes against reason and otherwise noble field of science ever done in history!
1. LSD Hysteria In France
August 15 1951 was to be, by all accounts, just another warm day in a sleepy town of Pont-Saint Esprit, packed with the usual routine. It turned out to be anything but that. What happened was that as many as 500 residents suffered from a collective, mass hysteria caused by extreme hallucinations.
These hallucinations were manifested by people running rampant, believing they have super-human abilities like flying, feeling strange, unbearable sensations and even believing they were being attacked and eaten by snakes! At the end of this macabre event, lasting for a couple of hours, local authorities reported that five people have died of “natural causes” (probably suffering from a stroke or a cardiac arrest) and two commited suicide by jumping out of windows.
Thick veil of secrecy is wrapped around this uncanny occurrence ever since. It is anyone’s guess what really happened in Pont-Saint Esprit in 1951 – no similar mass-hysteria happened anywhere else beforehand. However, the less than two decades later, experiments which were carried out in order to fully comprehend the effects of LSD affected smaller groups of people in a similar way. This is why the most prevailing and plausible theory of the true nature of Pont-Saint Esprit events states that the people living there were among the first victims of an LSD experiment.
This theory postulates that behind these hallucination was the infamous Project MKUltra, series of CIA-funded experiments which were carried out in order to gain knowledge in the area of engineering human behavior. It is thought by some that the enormous military potential of a hallucinogen drug LSD (particularly “popular” during the hippie era in late 60s) did not escape certain world governments who meant to utilize it during armed combats as a way of disabling the enemy.
Despite there being more down-to-Earth explanations for the Pont- Saint Esprit events, like the gas leakage from the nearby chemical factory, the LSD experimentation theory still persists. Today’s consensus is the combination of both: it is indeed deemed that the factory was the main cause, but it is also regarded that it has been working along-side CIA on producing the massive amounts of LSD.