Sir Isaac Newton repeatedly did experiments sticking a bodkin (a very sharp needle) between his eyeball and his eye socket, “as neare to backside of my eye as I could”,he was quoted. He did this til he saw spots. He did it because he hoped he might learn something about color.
Princeton researchers successfully turned a live cat into a functioning telephone in 1929.
A NASA scientist 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.
There was a man-made mouse utopia called Universe 25. It started with 4 males and 4 females. The colony peaked at 2200 and from there declined to extinction. Once a tipping point was reached, the mice lost instinctual behaviors. Scientists extrapolate this model to humans on earth.
The shoe company ‘Atheist Shoes’ conducted an experiment where they sent packages with ‘Atheist’ brand packing tape and neutral packing tape to the U.S. The ‘Atheist’ marked packages took an average of 3 days longer to ship and where 10 times more likely to disappear.
Between 1974 and 1979, the city of Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada, took part in an experimental guaranteed income program (“Mincome”). For those four years—until the project was cancelled and its findings packed away—the town’s poorest residents were given monthly checks that supplemented what modest earnings they had and rewarded them for working more. And for that time, the effects of poverty began to melt away. Doctor and hospital visits declined, mental health appeared to improve, and more teenagers completed high school.
NASA intoxicated spiders with different drugs to see if they could still build an effective web. All of the drugs reduced web regularity except for small doses of LSD, which actually increased it.
During an experiment sponsored by the Quaker Oats corporation, 73 mentally disabled children were fed radioactive oatmeal in order to track “how nutrients were digested”. The children were told they were joining a science club in exchange for larger portions of food and trips to baseball games.
We all know Sir Isaac Newton was a brilliant mathematician and scientist, but the discoverer of gravity also had flashes of odd behavior. He once stuck a large needle into his eye socket to test his theories about vision, and later in life completely withdrew from his friends, becoming paranoid and confused. It is thought that he may have gone mad after poisoning himself in metal experiments.
Back in 1958, high-school sophomore Diana McGee chose as her biology project an experiment “to make a hamster an alcoholic, then to cure it of the disease.” She named the hamster “Alchy”. The hamster consumed about a pint of bourbon a month and reportedly “seems to love it.” Eventually, Alchy refused to drink any more of the bourbon-water mixture, leading the Salina Journal to comment on Apr 25, 1958 that “the animal has more sense than some people.”
In 1946 NACA (now known as NASA) subjected a human test subject to winds of up to 457mph in the name of science.