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These Researchers Conducted Crazy Experiments… on Themselves

These Researchers Conducted Crazy Experiments… on Themselves


The
experiments were epic, the results often disastrous or fatal. They were invasive or dangerous human experiments,
and completely unethical… had they not been tests performed on the researchers, by the
researchers themselves. In this account of academic insight coupled
with dubious judgment, we look at the most shocking and often ill-fated cases of researcher
self-experimentation. 10. Joseph Barcroft Many scientists have tested things on themselves
that just might be harmful to determine results. But the Northern Irish physiologist Joseph
Barcroft took things a little further by purposely testing known poison gas on himself and studying
the effects. Born in 1872, Barcroft lived until 1947, though
he came close to dying much sooner. Barcroft opposed violence as a Quaker, but
carried out terrible human experimentation on himself when World War I came about. In an enclosed chamber at the Porton Down
chemical warfare laboratory in 1915, he allowed himself to be exposed to deadly hydrogen cyanide
as it was released, while sharing the chamber with a dog. After about a minute, the dog passed out,
seemingly dead (though it later came to). Seeing this effect, Barcroft exited the chamber
alive. Barcroft experienced dizziness upon any quick
turning of his head, which lasted around one year. His concern was to determine how dangerous
the poison gas being used in the war might be. Barcroft’s other extreme experiments after
World War I included spending time in a chamber that mimicked high altitudes, then riding
a stationary bicycle. This turned his blood blue, which shockingly
is not what killed him. Instead, he died from a heart attack while
trying to catch a bus. 9. Jesse William Lazear American doctor Jesse William Lazear, also
a member of the U.S. Army Yellow Fever Commission, was involved in pioneering work organized
by the Yellow Fever Board, but his work went too far. Lazear’s work took him to Cuba in 1900,
where he studied Yellow Fever and refined his theories on transmission methods and sources
of Yellow Fever infection. However, he died at age 34 thanks to a decision
to allow a mosquito infected with yellow fever to bite into his flesh and transmit the infection. This was to allow a self study of the disease. The self-destructive act was concealed at
the time by being passed off as a mistake, only to be brought to light from a recovered
notebook in 1947 that confirmed the deadly experiment’s deliberate nature. At a hospital in Havana, Lazear painstakingly
hatched mosquito eggs, then got them to drink blood from Yellow Fever patients. Two other study members who were intentionally
exposed to Yellow Fever did survive, but Lazear’s self experiment was ultimately fatal. The brave, if not foolhardy scientist passed
away from Yellow Fever in September 1900. The work of Lazear is notable for being the
first discovery of a human virus, rather than a bacterial infectious agent, in medical history. 8. Nicholas Senn Swiss born Nicholas Senn was a self-experimenter
whose research actions extended to the nearly insane. Toward the end of the 1880s, this researcher
self-tested gastrointestinal inflation as a means of diagnosing holes (perforation)
in the intestinal tract by putting a rubber balloon onto a tube, then connecting the tube
to his rear and pumping no less than four gallons of hydrogen into his intestinal tract. Previous experiments (of questionable ethical
standing) on dogs caused intestinal ruptures, making trying it on himself yet crazier. He survived and went on to become the founder
and, for two years, president of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States. But that was not the only crazy experiment
Dr. Senn took upon himself. He actually placed cancerous tissue removed
from a patient of his with cancer of the lip in an incision in his arm. This was to prove Senn’s idea that cancer
could not be “caught” like an infectious agent. Soon after having the small piece of cancerous
lymph node placed in his forearm, a new nodule appeared. But Senn’s arm was back to normal in a matter
of weeks, showing that cancer is not transmitted like tuberculosis, for example. This finding was reported in Dr. Senn’s
article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. 7. Max von Pettenkofer German mad scientist and researcher extraordinaire
Max von Pettenkofer actually swallowed cholera bacteria. He didn’t mind taking great risks, saying
“Even if I had deceived myself and the experiment endangered my life, I would have looked Death
quietly in the eye for mine would have been no foolish or cowardly suicide; I would have
died in the service of science like a soldier on the field of honor.” Pettenkofer was a firm believer in the concept
of multiple factors causing infection, including low air quality in contrast to contagionist
views, such as those held by his rival, Robert Koch. On October 7, 1892, von Pettenkofer requested
and swallowed a vial containing water contaminated with cholera bacteria to show that multiple
health factors, rather than simple exposure, was responsible for infectious illness in
humans. In an attempt to prove Koch’s contagiousness
views wrong, von Pettenkofer drank the cholera with witnesses present, including Koch himself. While Pettenkofer’s ideas have been shown
to be wrong by modern medical science, the fact that he did not get deathly ill from
cholera lent him temporary credence. While the cholera experiment did not kill
him, he eventually died by suicide with a gun. 6. Nathaniel Kleitman Nathaniel Kleitman could be dubbed “the
modern caveman” for his experiment on himself. The American scientist was Russian, born into
a Jewish family in 1895, and went on to become the leader of his research field both in the
USA and worldwide. Kleitman was the world’s first exclusively
focused sleep scholar. For him, sleeping on the job was part of the
journey to becoming known as the father of sleep science. In addition to setting up the first sleep
lab in the world and publishing Sleep and Wakefulness, Kleitman and his colleagues undertook
an experiment where they lived in a 54 degree (Fahrenheit) subterranean hollow in Mammoth
Cave in Kentucky from June 4-6, 1938. They tested the effects of living, waking,
and sleeping in an environment in which night and day ceased to exist (as we know them),
removed from the dictates of the sun in the 26 by 65 foot rocky hollow 140 feet underground. The 28-hour cycle in the cave involved 10
hours of sleep, 10 hours of rest, and 10 hours of work to try and break the body’s 24-hour
rhythm. The work showed, however, that humans do have
a 24-hour rhythm independent of external stimuli, with the older Kleitman being unable to adjust
to the new cycle, while his 20-year-old assistant experienced some adaptation. This type of research clearly did no harm,
as Kleitman lived to 104. 5. Frederick Hoelzel Pica is a
well known but strange disorder that involves human
consumption of inedible and often dangerous foreign objects. Mad scientist Frederick Hoelzel, on the other
hand, did not have Pica. He just a pressing need to experiment with
unusual ingestions at his own risk. Starting off with concerns about weight, Hoelzel
attempted to avoid hunger while losing weight. This caused Hoelzel to eat everything from
indigestible plant parts, such as banana stems, leaves, nutshells and corncobs, while also
consuming clothing, birds’ feathers, wool, and cotton balls. A concerning turn occurred when he consumed
asbestos, widely available in historic times before its deadly nature was known. Hoelzel’s problem got him recognized through
an “Assistant in Physiology” role, as well as being called the “Human Billy Goat.” Anton Julius Carlson, Chairman of the Physiology
Department at the University of Chicago, eventually discovered Hoelzel, setting up experiments
with him that included testing whether fasting would relieve hunger, which made Hoelzel incredibly
skinny after 15 days. Charting the time taken for foreign objects
to pass through the digestive tract was another tough experiment undertaken by Hoelzel while
working with Carlson, with a variety of rates documented depending on the type of material. 4. George Stratton George Stratton was not just any psychologist;
he was a dedicated scientist who undertook self-experimentation that could probably drive
the most normal people out of their minds. During his graduate and post-graduate research,
Stratton studied with the famous German psychologist Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt at his Leipzig, Saxony
laboratory, where he wore goggles that turned his vision upside down. Stratton’s glasses forced the brain to compensate
for the visual inversion. At first, Stratton felt ill and confused by
the upside down landscape, but soon, he got used to the change and the view from behind
the goggles appeared to return to normal. Upon removing the glasses seven days later,
the normal view to which Stratton had become adjusted then seemed itself abnormal for a
time. Not only did Stratton turn his world upside
down, he undertook additional experiments that involved confusing the left with the
right to see how human perception would be affected. To break up the link between vision and touch,
he wore mirrors that induced a virtual out of body experience, causing him to see himself
from above when looking straight. This caused Stratton to feel that his body
was located somewhere other than where touch told him he was actually located. 3. Giovanni Battista Grassi Italian experimenter Giovanni Battista Grassi
was both a master scientist and an exceedingly bold student of the gruesome. Born in 1854 in Rovellasca and living to the
age of 71, Grassi studied not only malaria but a range of parasitic worms. It would be an understatement to say the man
took risks. Grassi undertook what might be the single
most disgusting act of human ingestion in recorded history: he ate live roundworm eggs
taken directly from a deceased person who was known to have suffered a serious roundworm
infection. These were not just small roundworms, either. The eggs were of the study species Ascaris
lumbricoides, a notorious giant roundworm that grows to 14 inches in human hosts. The purpose of the study? To learn how roundworms can be transmitted
between hosts. The gruesome act of ingestion took place on
August 30, 1879. The previous host had died a little less than
a year beforehand, on October 10, 1878. Grassi swallowed the eggs and waited. When 22 days passed, fresh eggs were in the
waste of the scientist who had become his own biology guinea pig. The discovery was conclusive proof that exposure
to an infected source is how roundworm infections occur in new hosts, a useful finding in a
time when spontaneous generation was a popular concept. 2. Tim Friede Mad science is where the boundaries between
wanton self-destruction and laboratory style research intersect. Tim Friede enters this gray area as he tries
experiments that would kill most people. Friede has been bitten by snakes 160 times
— on purpose — throughout the course of his 16 year (to date) research career. Just how has he survived? By developing immunity over time. The purpose of Friede’s passionate but exceedingly
dangerous work is his conviction that self-immunization against snake bites is a thing, with the goal
of seeing vaccines to snake bites developed. Friede is concerned about the thousands of
deaths that occur annually worldwide as a result of snake attacks on humans. Vaccination against snake bites would provide
even greater protection than after-the-fact delivery of antivenin, which is not always
available in time, or at all. The most extreme self-tests he has conducted
include back to back bites from unusually venomous snakes. Friede was bitten by a taipan and then a black
mamba, surviving what would be fatal to most people in a quarter of an hour. A harsh lesson was taught by two cobra bites,
however, when the “overdose” put him into a coma after he flatlined, saved by medical
intervention just in time. 1. Allan Blair Black Widow spiders get a bad rap, and for
good reason. Their bite is actually 15 times as powerful
as that of your average rattlesnake. The catch is they are so tiny the bite is
frequently not enough venom to be lethal, despite its potency. Born in 1900 and living until 1948, University
of Alabama medical school professor Allan Blair was not content with statistics, biology
articles, and case studies. In his time, Black Widow bites were less well
understood than they are now, so he let a Black Widow bite him. The provoked spider attack sent Blair to hospital
where he stayed for two days prior to discharge and eventual recovery. The harm to himself included suffering severe
pain, not to mention the local damage from the bite. Yet the experience, which was well publicized,
served to silence Black Widow skeptics who believed the spider’s danger was vastly
overrated. After the November 16, 1933 Tuscaloosa News
ran a story titled “U. Of A. Professor Lets Spider Bite Him, Suffers
3 Days Agony,” Blair was hailed for his ‘courage, persistence and skill’. He certainly made a scientific exercise of
his painful experience. After the bite, Blair wrote “lab notes”
for a full two hours documenting his symptoms until they got so bad that his assistants
had to fill in for the rest of the two days.

21 thoughts on “These Researchers Conducted Crazy Experiments… on Themselves

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  2. Always, many greetings for share your interesting video!!! I'm loving to watch your video! So I 'm waiting for the next video!!!

  3. There's also the Dr. who gave himself a peptic ulcer by ingesting H. Pylori. He got the ulcer and cured himself with antibiotics.

  4. When you release a bunch of videos on the same day, I can't watch Business Blaze first, I keep watching to see if I notice where you knicked your head while shaving.. lol

  5. These are all men but I do know a few cases of women doing similar things one lady even self drilled holes in her skull to reduce swelling n she survived it n then of course all the crazy stuff women did in past that was pointless

  6. Max Von Pettenkofer didn't die from suicide. He was experimenting. He wanted to prove guns don't kill people alone but with other factors contributing to death.

  7. I'm really surprised Doctor John Lilly was not on this list. The man put probes into his own brain by hammering them through his skull with a roofing hammer. Also his experiments with dolphins are quite fascinating. Additionally, I would have thought it cute to put dr. Albert Hoffman in the bonus facts. Whacked out on LSD riding his bike through the streets of Holland.

  8. I'm watching this after being at the hospital for tests on my grandson and I would thank every one of these guys. People brave or crazy enough to think outside the box and put their own lives on the line is what keeps finding cures and treatments that have saved millions of lives.

  9. Of course that one guy survived all this snake bites, didn’t you see him wearing a Slayer t-shirt? It makes people invincible.

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