Scientific Experiments That Went Terribly Wrong

Scientific Experiments That Went Terribly Wrong


Science encompasses a vast range of study
fields. With scientific investigation comes responsibility. When ethics or caution are thrown to the wind,
or the experiment simply doesn’t work out, disaster and failure can be dramatic. In this account, we discover 10 experiments
with some pretty unsatisfactory social outcomes. 10. Willowbrook State School Hepatitis Tests At Willowbrook State School, run by the state
of New York as a place for children with mental handicaps, outbreaks of hepatitis occurred
naturally and also as a result of unethical experimentation. At this Staten Island school, Dr. Saul Krugman
conducted some very disturbing experiments where he intentionally infected children with
mental disabilities with hepatitis and then monitored the progress of the infection for
scientific research purposes. The research began in 1956 and went on for
14 years. Worse yet, parents were often informed that
their children could be admitted provided they consented to hepatitis experiments being
done on the children as an alternative to paying high entrance fees. The researchers justified the work by saying
that injections intended to fight off hepatitis would be given following purposeful infection,
and then claimed that existing infections meant that inducing hepatitis infection should
not be viewed too harshly. Some twisted reasoning indeed! A variety of scholarly writers weighed in
and offered opinions that included reasons the work should be condemned or defended in
a piece titled “The Willowbrook Letters: Criticisms and Defense.” 9. The Ebola Guinea Pig Ebola might be one of the scariest viruses
on Earth, but it has been studied in experiments where one might conclude sufficient caution
was lacking. A Russian researcher died when Ebola experimentation
led not to study results but death from exposure. While investigating the biology of Ebola virus
at the Vector laboratory at Novosibirsk in Siberia, a female researcher poked herself
with an Ebola laden needle. The accident at this ultra-secure biological
facility involved an Ebola source that might seem surprising: an infected guinea pig being
used in the virology study rather than a direct human source. There are various sub-types of Ebola, but
all are dangerous to varying degrees. Infectious and deadly, Ebola will kill between
50 and 90 percent of those infected. Worse, a cure is not yet available for the
virus once it is acquired, just management of symptoms. In this accident, the researcher was dead
within 14 days of exposure. Unfortunately, Vector officials failed to
report the accident right away to the World Health Organization, which is thought to have
further reduced the victim’s chances of living. 8. The Madness of Dr. Leo Stanley Dr. Leo Stanley was one mad scientist whose
experiments were founded on dubious or lacking science, and more problematic ethical grounds. Of course, his bizarre experiments ended in
harm and often chaos. As the Chief Surgeon of California’s San
Quentin Prison, the doctor experimented on the testicles of prisoners with a variety
of strange theories to back up his experiments. The things he did are among the most gruesome
and bizarre experiments in American history. Take harvesting the testicles from prisoners
after their execution and then placing them into the bodies of living prisoners to study
male “rejuvenation” while also attempting to gain insight on the “biology of crime”
and explore potential means of biological crime control. It was not enough for this scientist to trade
testicles between the living and the dead. He also went full interspecial and began implants
of goat, ram and boar testicles into prisoners. Eugenics experiments and forced sterilizations
were also among his work. Hundreds of prisoners were subjected to Dr.
Stanley’s bizarre research and the harmful results of such non-standard invasions of
the human body. 7. The Washington & Oregon Prison Radiation Scandal When it comes to experiments that end badly,
the strange theme of prisoners and terrible, inhumane testicle tests keeps coming up. Is a dishonest and dangerous offer of getting
radiated the way to pay for offenses and get out of jail early? From 1963 to 1973, prisoners numbering in
the dozens held in Washington and Oregon prison were subjected to doses of radiation to test
its effects on — you guessed it — human testes. With enticement from cash “bribes” and
parole hints, 130 inmates let the University of Washington test radiation on them at the
behest of the U.S. government. Doses were at 400 rads of radiation, equal
to a shocking 2,400 chest x-rays, given in intervals of 10 minutes. The prisoners were not told just how harmful
the experimentation was, and received financial settlements through a class-action lawsuit. Dr. Carl Heller, the “mad scientist” behind
these brutal human radiation experiments, had received $1.2 million in grant money over
10 years contributing to his cruel work. The inmates tested were given vasectomies,
in case the radiation damaged their DNA enough to cause them to father children with genetic
abnormalities. 6. The Russian Missile Deaths Long a key Russian center of nuclear weapons
research, the town of Sarov, located 250 miles east of Moscow, was the site of multiple researcher
fatalities in the summer of 2019. From 1946 to the present day, Sarov has seen
an extraordinary variety of nuclear research works take place within its bounds. The incident is shrouded in secrecy, but we
do know that five Russian nuclear weapons workers met their demise in the summer of
2019 and were recognized in a well-attended state memorial service after a nuclear project
on which they worked went very wrong. The accident not only killed the five workers,
but exposed nearby settled areas to doses of radiation. Russian sources have described the work being
undertaken as tests intended to develop a small reactor as a power source for weapons
systems. The deaths were attributed to an error which
would be “studied” to prevent future accidents of the type. American and independent Russian speculation
has included views that the war machine under testing could have been a nuclear powered
cruise missile. Whatever it was, the explosion was powerful
enough to hurl some of the victims into the waters of Dvinsky Bay, in which a platform
had been set up as the site for the testing. 5. African Clawed Frog Pregnancy Tests Researchers historically arrived on a way
to detect human pregnancy by injecting African clawed frogs with urine. If they laid eggs, the patient was pregnant. This method was in vogue in the 1940s and
1950s. But when better methods were developed, many
of the frogs, originally hailing from sub-Saharan Africa, were released from labs, leading to
some seriously problematic invasive species situations as well as pathogen transmission. Completely aquatic, the strange amphibian
species not only acts as a predator but also a serious disease vector, harming numerous
native amphibians thanks to the chytrid fungus they carry. African clawed frogs are now distributed across
a number of American states, with escapees’ descendants found in perhaps surprisingly
cold places like the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany. African clawed frogs are banned in a range
of American states and known to eat or compete with a shocking array of native species, ranging
from amphibians to fish. The chytrid fungus, deadly to many native
amphibians and carried by the frogs, is a tragic legacy of the pregnancy tests for which
the frogs are used, decimating native amphibian populations in part as a result of clawed
frog releases. The problem is made worse by the frog’s
apparent immunity, making them especially dangerous vectors. 4. Cornelius the Crazed Cancer Researcher Harvard-educated pathologist Dr. Cornelius
Rhoads was one of the most highly regarded cancer researchers of the 20th century before
he fell into disgrace. The highest award given out to scientists
by the American Association for Cancer Research, the Cornelius Rhoads Award was named after
this researcher before he was accused by a Puerto Rico doctor of deliberately infecting
patients in Puerto Rico with cancer cells. Dr. Rhoads expressed reprehensible views in
a handwritten letter in which he apparently said the people of Puerto Rico “are beyond
doubt the dirtiest, laziest, most degenerate and thievish race of men ever inhabiting this
sphere … What the island needs is not public health work, but a tidal wave or something
to totally exterminate the population.” As a result of the experiments, a number of
Puerto Ricans were killed by this doctor once honored for his work, which in fact came at
the expense of innocent victims and counts as an ill-gotten gain of some especially horrific,
racially motivated unethical research. As a result, the medal honoring Rhoades was
renamed in 2003 and the honor stripped from his name. 3. Project Stormfury The weather can be fickle, but blaming the
weatherperson is not always the answer. Scientists messing with the weather in the
background might have a greater responsibility for unexpected weather events. Project Stormfury was a United States based
test of what were supposed to be storm curbing ice crystals that actually failed to effectively
stop hurricanes which went on to cause massive losses of lives. Between 1962 and 1983, US government aircraft
loaded with silver iodide release equipment were flown right into hurricanes where the
iodide was dumped. This was intended to cause supercooled water
freezing within the hurricane, which was expected to break it up, disrupting its meteorological
structure. Unfortunately, the heroic measures were largely
wasted as it was found in the years to come that supercooled water is present in insufficient
quantities within a hurricane for all of this anticipated storm disruption to ever work. 2. Chemical Weapons Testing in Australia Queensland, Australia set the stage for some
awful chemical weapons testing on human subjects. The year 1942 brought Australia into the thick
of World War II hostilities when Japanese aggression brought more questions than answers
about how mustard gas might behave and deliver harm in a tropical climate. The chemical weapon had already been deployed
against China by Japan, sparking fears that Australia was next in line. To investigate, human experiments using a
gas chamber which was moved from Townsville, Australia to Melbourne on a three-ton truck
were conducted. The trouble is, the danger of mustard gas
exposure was underestimated. Over the three years to follow, a range of
secret tests were done. The research included gas chamber tests involving
volunteers who were Australian armed forces recruits, who apparently did not fully understand
the degree of potential harm to which they were consenting to be exposed. The tropical conditions quadrupled the effects
of mustard gas, leaving many with nasty injuries. At Innisfail, volunteers tested how long they
could carry on their duties while exposed to burning mustard gas, while 1944 experiments
on North Brook Island saw volunteers dropped into trenches after the island was doused
with the deadly substance. 1. British Anthrax Simulation Anthrax, a disease caused by the infectious
gram-positive bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is rare but dangerous, a disease of livestock
and also humans. Experiments concerning such nasty stuff might
seem like the stock of mad scientist’s labs in a B-movie, but also form the subject of
a truly mad British experiment on the public. On July 26, 1963, researchers deliberately
tossed a box out of the window of a train belonging to Northern Line as it was leaving
Colliers Wood, a train station in south London. The powder was full of spores from a different
bacteria, Bacillus globigii, now also known to be dangerous to human health and intended
to simulate an anthrax attack on the public. Non-consenting civilians were thus exposed
to an agent of ill health by the incorrect reasoning at the time that it was not harmful,
but would provide researchers with trackable spores that could be collected and then “forensically”
assessed to see what the pattern of agent movement, human exposure and harm would be
in case of a real anthrax attack. Trainee engineers were sent forth to collect
dust samples throughout the underground, samples which were indeed infected miles away from
the release site. As it turns out, B. globigii is pathogenic
enough to induce food poisoning, septicaemia and infections of
the eye.

78 Replies to “Scientific Experiments That Went Terribly Wrong”

  1. oh I just read about this testicle thing in a book about Dr.Brinkley (not really a doctor) but this was a HUGE THING … and implanting goat glands raked in millions, but…..if you paid a bit more and wink win k nudge, real human testicles could be "found" from prisons. The book "Charlatan" covers the goat glands…..

  2. British Anthrax Simulation
    Okay, NOBODY in the right mind would think up of an experiment like that

  3. Today i found out
    That mr. Whistler run at least one channel i never heard of.

    Its really entertainin and makes me wonder which other channels i might missed.( not a native english speaker so if there are some mistakes – deal with it)

    Have no time for that video because i need to watch Business Blaze.

  4. Unfortunately we test viruses all the time in animals to study symptoms. It's just that sometimes human doctors forget to take precautions!

  5. Wow, I just now finished watching the latest Business Blaze, and I forgot how calm and sedate Mr. Whistler can be on TopTenz! I'm bipolar, so I actually like the two states of Whistler! 😀

  6. I have become obsessed with the idea of Simon doing a video involving paintings that includes Whistler's Mother. Yes, I clearly need both a life and help. 😂 Hahahahaha oops my tushy fell off!

  7. Given how "wonderful" mustard gas turned out during the trench warfare of WW I you would have thought that the answer would be its bad to fight in it it or do anything with it on the battlefield. Additionally what the hell have those American scientists got against balls?

  8. 0:23 Nothing wrong with making [email protected] somewhat useful. If useful information can be learned while having fewer useless people in an overcrowded world I say use them as guinea pigs as much as necessary.

  9. I love your videos SO MUCH! However, it drives me crazy you can't pronounce simple words. You're English damn it! You should be able to speak English!

  10. Ethics shouldn't even be a thing. Right and wrong are matters of opinion. A majority opinion is still just an opinion.

  11. 2:36 Well, they were prison inmates so it was justified by that alone. Scientific results aside, if it's not cruel and unusual it's not punishment. Don't want to be experimented on against your will = don't go to prison. Inmates shouldn't have rights, period, especially lifers that are never getting out anyway other than in a body bag. That includes the right to ever reproduce (which shouldn't even be an automatic right even on the outside, it's why the world is overcrowded).

  12. 7:38 Never been to PR but I can agree with that until proven otherwise. I guess his prayers were answered when Maria hit PR and basically made it uninhabitable (the US should have just abandoned it and gave them the independence some of them wanted rather than wasted money on relief and rebuilding).

  13. 8:00 well, they just went about it wrong. Best way to get rid of a hurricane is prevent it from forming in the first place by sucking the heat out of the ocean from the surface down to about 20-30m deep. Don't even need to come anywhere near freezing it, 20-25C is generally plenty cold enough. As a bonus with the right coolant you have plenty of heat to make a temperature difference that turns a turbine and makes electricity instead of burning something for the same end. Do that with all suitable (26C+) ocean water and you have 100's TW of power even after conversion losses and seasonal variations (all that water stores a huge amount of heat even at night, so not much daily variation, unlike solar panels), several times all human electricity demand. Such an experimental plant is already being tested (in Hawaii I think).

  14. Nothing curbs criminal tendencies like having goat testes implanted in what is now surely your distended, painfully inflamed scrotum. It's hard to run from the police when your balls are the size of oranges.

  15. A ram is a Male goat🤨!
    Also as I recall the prisoners in Oregon got paid for the forced sterilization not the microwaving their nuts

  16. You did a video about #5 on Today I Found Out in 2016. I actually recently recounted some of the facts from that very video to a friend, then went on a half-hour mission to find it. My search history now looks perverted – 'Pregnant women pissing on frogs'

  17. 8:18 wait wait wait, you said they "went on to cause massive loss of life"
    yet you didn't bother to explain how they caused a "massive loss of life" or why..

  18. Very interesting video Simon it really does show how sick people can be. I knew chemical experiments were carried out in Australia during the war but I never knew they were carried out in Innisfail which is where my family lived for many years. I read that there was a very large store of different chemical weapons including mustard gas in a disused railway tunnel just outside Sydney where military personnel weren’t given any protection for working with the chemicals and the government hushed it up and even denied the facility even existed.

  19. What the heck did you say in that first second of video Simon? It's not the posh accent you present, because I completely understand Karl Smallwood's low-brow Northern accent.

  20. I have to say because of all the different channels you do Simon, you taking up most of my YouTube viewing time nowadays. Thank you.

  21. Testicles being experimented on should be the norm. Maybe it would keep more dudes out of jail and our damn taxes would go down. Sounds like incentive to never commit a crime again.

  22. Hey Simon… What about that time that Quaker Oats fed radiation tracers to children in the Massachusetts state school for mentally Disturbed children.

  23. Who’s clever idea was it to inject a frog with pee for a pregnancy test? How on earth did humanity stumble across that little trick? What a wacky world.

  24. The Guinea Pig brought me here and I still can't tell the difference between that and a Tribble. Damn you deceptive thumb view!

  25. And anyone who believes this doesn't still happen is just stupid. just think some of this was going on in the USA into the 1970s And you believe our News Media would actually tell you the facts or the truth?

  26. I am glad that the frogs got their own back on mankind. Imagine being injected with urine, that would make anyone bloody angry !

  27. It is possible to enjoy a video while being horrified by the subject. Your statement at the end is unnecessary, Simon, especially since your presentation is entertaining without being rude.

  28. No duh dummy, they were and still is using humans esp with mental issues, they get more wrong than right, make a video about "white oatmeal" funded by the CIA.

  29. “Trust us. There were no chemical weapons used during Second World War!”

    ( human “volunteers” were tested various gas and biological weapons in the name of free democratic society)
    Nazi Wonder weapons included ammunition filled with biological and poison gas. American troops invaded ammunition depo just hours before intended use. These weapons were tested Soviet pow & consternation camp victims to induce prolonged suffering.
    During Italian invasion nazi dive bomber sunk American ammunition ship and its secret cargo filled with mustard gas at unnamed harbor. USA army was planning to brake the battle gridlock in central Italy.
    Japanese used biological weapons during battle of Burma. At one incident Japanese officer ran to M3 tank and threw something at tank driver’s vision port before being killed. Within hours tank crew was dead.
    Free world trumpeted evils of nazi and Japanese medical “experimentation”. Those test results were valuable and some were finished without civilians knowledge. There’re are no morals for egomaniac, racist doctors. Thousands cancer victims and birth defects are from foolish open air nuclear testing by nuclear powers around the world.

  30. I love guinea pigs so when someone kills themselves when harming them….
    Considering most animal testing is done wasting way more than the minimum required..
    Considering none of the animal testing is shared with veterinarians so animals keep dying of causes that have been studied extensively…
    Considering all that…I feel maybe a millimeter of pity.

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