30 Strangest Scientific Experiments of All Time

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1Ron Jones

Ron Jones

In 1967, a history teacher named Ron Jones performed an experiment with his class to find out why people allowed the Nazis to commit terrible acts. He brainwashed them using Nazi ideals and at the end of the week had several hundred teenage followers under his complete control before he revealed the truth.

2. The "fact" that you eat 8 spiders a year was a social experiment to show how fast false information spreads on the internet.

3. Through a series of experiments in the Polytechnic Institute of New York, a robotic fish ended up becoming the leader of a school of live fish.

4. The children's movie "The Secret of NIMH" was inspired by a real rat utopia experiment that ended in societal collapse.

5. In a housing experiment that moved families from poor neighborhoods to wealthier ones, boys experienced PTSD rates comparable to those of combat soldiers, while psychological well-being improved for girls.

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6Smoke-filled room experiment

Smoke-filled room experiment

The smoke-filled room experiment is an experiment which shows that even if there's smoke filling a room, people will stay for as long as 20 minutes if no one else is reacting to it. Otherwise, they'd leave quickly.

7. Only one of the guards of the Standford Prison Experiment (Dave Eshelman) was particularly brutal, and the more brutal he became, the more prominently he faked a southern accent.

8. Scientists took advantage of the three-day flight ban over the US after 9/11 to conduct experiments on the effect on the atmosphere of jet planes. They found the days were a little warmer and the nights cooler, suggesting that the exhaust trails planes leave in the sky act like clouds.

9. There was an experiment where 2 groups (Rattlers and Eagles) of 11-12 year old boys who were given separate camps in a state park. When the groups became aware of each other, they began raiding each other’s camps, which led to physical combat. The investigators ended the experiment fearing someone would seriously get hurt.

10. When Michael Crichton (American author) was in college, he conducted an experiment to expose an English professor who he believed was giving him abnormally low marks. Crichton submitted an essay by George Orwell under his own name. The paper was returned by his unwitting professor with a mark of "B−".

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11Ken Kesey

Ken Kesey

Ken Kesey (Author of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest") volunteered for MKUltra experiments involving LSD and other psychedelic drugs as a student. This inspired him to promote the drug outside of the experiments, which influenced the early development of hippie culture.

12. Wi-Fi was developed by using technology from a failed experiment attempting to detect mini black holes.

13. Scottish psychiatrist Donald Ewen Cameron in the 50s ran experiments on humans which involved giving several electric shocks a week, taping blacked out football helmets to their heads and playing repetitive messages in their ears for months at a time. Some patients apparently forgot who they were and how to talk.

14. In the 60's US Army did an experiment, where two people Dave Dobson and Bob Selden without nuclear training had to design a nuke with only access to publicly available documents. They succeeded.

15. Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla planned to secretly experiment on children, lining the walls of schoolrooms with high-voltage lines, believing that exposing them to the energy would make them healthier and smarter, and he believed every home in the future would soon do likewise.

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16Roadkill rage experiment

Roadkill rage experiment

A NASA scientist Mark Rober conducted a tongue-in-cheek experiment to see what animals drivers are more likely to hit. He placed rubber fakes on the side of the road and found that 6% of drivers intentionally swerve to hit them, tarantulas being hit the most.

17. An experiment was conducted on the New York subway where seated passengers were asked: "Excuse me, may I please have your seat?" 56% of them moved.

18. Creatine, the muscle building supplement, was found in a double-blind experiment to significantly increase cognitive function among vegans and vegetarians.

19. Charles Darwin became interested in how vegetables crossed the oceans. In one experiment, Darwin fed seeds to a bird, shot it, and then placed the carcass in a bath rub to float. After a month, Darwin retrieved the seeds from the floating carcass and planted them. The seeds germinated.

20. Astronaut David Scott dropped a hammer and a feather on the moon, repeating Galileo's gravity experiment. Within the accuracy of the simultaneous release, the objects were observed to undergo the same acceleration and strike the lunar surface simultaneously, which was a result predicted by well-established theory.

21San Francisco experiment

San Francisco experiment

In 1950, 'One of the largest human experiments in history' was conducted on unsuspecting residents of San Francisco by the US military in a germ-warfare simulation and Nuremberg Code violation that utilized the Bay Area's iconic fog to help spread two kinds of bacteria over the city.

22. The Body Mass Index (BMI) was created for a social statistics experiment and was never intended to be an indicator of health.

23. In an experiment, every one of 54 undergraduates in winemaking and tasting thought they were tasting a red wine while it was actually a dyed white wine. Furthermore, when comparing identical wine of different prices, experts raved about the expensive wine while panning the cheap wine.

24. In an experiment conducted (on a guillotined man) by Dr. Gabriel Beaurieux in 1905, he quite reliably proved (to his satisfaction) that a severed head (that of the convicted murderer, Henri Languille) remains conscious and alert for some time after being separated from a body.

25. Judit Polgar is a female chess player who defeated Kasparov, Karpov, and Spassky. She was part of an experiment by her father to prove (chess) genius is made, not born.

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