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Weird Science


Without innovative, creative critical thinking, scientific progress would grind to a halt. Still, when we checked in on this year's Ig Nobel winners recently, some of the subjects and hypotheses inspired more than a little incredulity. I had the same response when I read about an article in this week's New Scientist that documents the most bizarre and outrageous scientific experiments of all time. Some are more than a little cruel (the grafting of a puppy's head and front legs to an adult German shepherd that caused both animals' deaths comes to mind), but others are just bizarre.

For example:
  • Psychologist begins experiments on son to test if laughing is spontaneous when tickled.
  • Conclusion: Laughing is an innate response to tickling
  • To test if people can sleep through anything, volunteers have their eyes taped open and bright lights shone in their eyes.
  • Conclusion: The men dozed off in 12 minutes
  • Doctor rubs vomit from yellow fever patients into open wounds and drinks it.
  • Conclusion: Mistakenly claims it is not infectious
[Summaries from The Guardian]

Bizarre Experiments (with full details)

Flickr photo by practicalowl


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