9 Movie Mad Scientists That Might Have Been Onto Something

"Mad, they called me. Well I'll show them I'll show them ALL".

Spider Goat

They say there's a fine line between madness and genius.

The crazy scientist is a common movie trope, often complete with wild hair and a maniacal glint in their eye, but don't let looks deceive you, because many of them might have actually been onto something.

After all, science is just about making the impossible, possible. There was a time when people thought that human flight was about as likely as building a time machine in your basement, but now that you can fly to Malaga for the price of a pack of fags, who's to say that we won't all be zipping around in our own personal TARDIS in the future?

To be fair, the mad scientists don't do themselves many favours, what with the crazy hair, the creepy assistants and the preference for carrying out their experiments in the midst of thunder and lightning storms. But, if someone had a bit of a word about managing their image, maybe assign them some kind of PR specialist and a stylist, their experiments might be a bit more palatable to the general public.

Thankfully, there are some real-world scientists out there who have been able to look past the bonkers exterior of many of our favourite mad scientists, and have seen the merit in their work. These are the ones that could be about to change the world - after all, no one ever made history by playing it safe.

9. Jekyll And Hyde - Brain Control

Spider Goat

The story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is well known to have been inspired by a real-life person named William Brodie - a well respected cabinet maker who also led a double life as a burglar. The story has become synonymous with dissociative identity disorder, or split personality. Sufferers of dissociative identity don't exactly have much control over it, but would it be possible to completely transform a person's personality artificially?

Way back in the 1960s, a scientist by the name of José Delgado managed to do just that in a particularly pissed off bull.

Delgado stood, unprotected, in the middle of a bull ring in Cordova, Spain. The young bull that was in there with him began to charge and, at the last possibly second, Delgado pressed a button on the remote control in his hand, and the bull stopped in its tracks, walked in a little circle and went away.

Delgado's secret was that he had implanted a "stimoceiver" in the bull's brain. A little, remote controlled computer chip that used electrical pulses to stimulate different parts of the brain, capable of eliciting feelings of rage, calm and even love.

The research was largely rejected at the time, viewed as an evil mind-control scheme. For all we know, it was, but the idea of influencing people's behaviour with electrical signals has been picked up again in recent times and could potentially lead to the treatment of all kinds if neurological and mental disorders.


Writer. Raconteur. Gardeners' World Enthusiast.