11 Craziest Things People Have Done In The Name Of Science

Mad scientists doing mad scientist things.

Gene Wilder Young Frankenstein
20th Century Fox

Just like all other jobs, the scientific community has had its fair share of whack jobs, they're a pretty much unavoidable part of life. Unfortunately, it is when you combine nutters with scientific equipment, a wild hypothesis or two and a reckless disregard for personal safety, things start to get pretty weird, pretty quickly.

Most of the craziest experiments have all been conducted on the scientists themselves, presumably because they couldn't find anyone else mental enough to agree to do it, no matter how noble the cause. Whether they're slicing off body parts, necking cocktails of nasties or subjecting their bodies to painful experiments, these maniacs routinely push the boundaries of both knowledge and human endurance - all in the name of science.

These moments of madness and curiosity are generally only regarded as "science experiments" because they happened to work, and now many of their perpetrators have gone down in history as visionaries and showered with Nobel Prizes. When the results are less-than-successful, they're usual called "a very stupid thing to do" and their perpetrators are awarded Darwin Awards, going down in history as misguided lunatics. 

It turns out that the line between madness and genius is a very fine one to tread...

11. Self Surgery

Gene Wilder Young Frankenstein

In the February of 1921, an American surgeon by the name of Evan O’Neill Kane was laid out on the operating table, awaiting his surgery for acute appendicitis. It was at this point that he sat up and announced to the startled staff that he wanted to perform the surgery himself. Seeing as he was the hospital's chief surgeon at the time, they had little choice but to let him do it.

Kane wanted to find out whether it was possible to perform surgery on oneself under just a local anaesthetic, so he propped himself up, injected himself with a big old dose of cocaine and adrenaline, and began merrily slicing away at his abdomen.

The sight of his own exposed internal organs didn't seem to phase Kane at all. In fact, when a chunk of his intestines fell out of the wound he simply pushed them back in  and carried on with the surgery.

The whole procedure took around 30 minutes, although the screwy surgeon calmly noted that he could have done it quicker had it not been for the other staff flapping around at the sight of a 60 year old man cutting himself open.

Kane was no stranger to self surgery, however. Just a year before he had amputated one of his own fingers after it became infected, and 10 years after his do-it-yourself appendectomy, he operated on himself again to fix a hernia. He had a bit of a reputation as a nut, even when he wasn't slicing bit off himself. Some of his idiosyncrasies included tattooing his initial on to his patients in morse code, and inventing bandages made from asbestos.

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