Scientists over the ages have tried to incessantly discover more about the human mind. Most of that discovery has been through experimentation.
However, not all of these trials have been harmless scientific experiments aimed to better mankind. There have been many disturbing experiments which have been grossly unethical which have cost subjects their lives.
ED brings to you a list of some of the most disturbing experiments to have ever been carried out. In case you are reading this before your nightly sleep, we wish you luck.
1. Project 4.1
This was a medical study conducted on the natives of Marshall Islands, who in 1952 were exposed to radiation fallout. Instead of informing the residents of the island of their exposure, and treating the victims, the US elected instead to just watch quietly and see what happened.
After the first decade following the exposure, children with thyroid cancer rose significantly above what would be considered normal. By 1974, almost one third(largely children) of the exposed islanders developed tumors. So much for experimentation!
2. “The Chamber”
Say hello to the Cold War era. Poison experiments were conducted against the victims by the Soviet Secret Police in the hope of developing a deadly poison that was tasteless and odourless. Unknowing and unwilling prisoners were given preparations of mustard gas, ricin, digitoxin and other stuff; hidden in meals, or worse, as medication.
The Soviet secret Police did come up with their dream poison, called C-2. According to witnesses, it caused physical changes (victims became shorter), and victims subsequently weakened and died within 15 minutes.
3. The Aversion Project
Homophobia is nothing new and the word ‘homosexuality’ was equivalent to a criminal offence in apartheid-era South Africa. How they got rid of them is shocking. The homosexual ‘undesirables’ were sent to a military hospital near Pretoria, to a place called Ward 22.
Between 1971-1989, as many as 900 homosexuals, mostly 16-24 years of age who had been drafted into the military against their will, were subject to chemical castrations and electric shock therapy, meant to cure them of their ‘condition’. Men were surgically turned to women against their will, then cast out into the world without money for the extensive hormonal supplements required to maintain the changed gender.
4. Unit 731
From 1937 to 1945, the imperial Japanese Army developed a covert biological and chemical warfare research experiment called Unit 731. The World War II period is infamous for its myriad of crimes against humanity and Unit 731 is responsible for some of the most atrocious war crimes till date.
Men, women, children, infants, the elderly and even pregnant women, mostly Chinese and Russian, were subjected to experiments like: removal of organs from a living body, amputation for the study of blood loss, germ warfare attacks, and weapons testing. Ironically, many of the scientists involved in this atrocity rose to prominent careers in politics, business, medicine, academia, later in life.
5. Project Artichoke
In the 1950s, the CIA’s Office of Scientific intelligence ran a series of mind-controlling experiments in an attempt to answer the question: “Can we get control of an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against fundamental laws of nature?”
The project studied hypnosis, forced morphine addiction, drug withdrawal, and the use of chemicals to incite amnesia in unwitting human subjects.
Something similar is seen in Stanley Milgram’s studies where, under the command of the scientists, participants applied, what they thought were, deadly levels of electricity, to innocent subjects.
6. Little Albert Experiment
John Watson and his graduate student and future wife, Rosalind Rayner deliberately induced fears in an 11-month-old baby. They did this by exposing him to a white rat while simultaneously banging a steel bar behind his head causing him to get agitated and start crying.
After several such pairings of the two stimuli, when Albert was presented only with the white rat, Albert got very distressed and cried, crawling away.
In fact, Albert seemed to generalize his fear and became distressed at the sight of several other white, furry objects such as a rabbit, a furry dog, and a seal skin coat and even Santa Claus mask which had white cotton balls in the beard!
Needless to say, such experimentation had profound psychological effects on the child.
Do let us know what you think of such experiments and what else could have been in the list in the comments section below!
Image credits: Google Images
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