Become a scientist they said, look at the world from a different perspective they said. I believe Science to be either a whining girlfriend or a reassuring mother. Science is as fascinating as Einstein’s wits and as annoying as the Sheldon guy from the Big Bang Theory. Most of the time, Science can drive you insane unless you’re Dr. Hannibal who we’re told is psychologically impenetrable in a number of movies. The quest to seek scientific answers is not bound by a trail of breadcrumbs. It is a series of unfortunate and misleading events that guides you to the Mountain of Illumination. From dissecting orphaned dead bodies and studying human anatomy to perfecting the flawless human by injecting different strains of DNA and whatever, Science is ” A Beautiful Body” but controlled by weird minds of Hugo Strange, Aldrich Killian, Dr.Frankenstein……to name a few!
If expired medicines, bed bugs, non-sterilized instruments, first time doctors with shaky hands aren’t enough to excite you, try performing a surgery on yourself. That’s what Evan O’Neill Kane did on 15 February 1921. Kane being a surgeon (That’s a relief!) decided to remove his own appendix. After 30 minutes of a nail-biting session and a lesser appendix, Mr. Kane had ultimately performed a one-of-a-kind self surgery. Fine, now moving on- 11 years later, 71 year old Kane decides to self-operate his hernia condition given the bolstering success of his previous self-surgery. However, the operation was problematic. With failing strength and pneumonia setting in, he died three months later. With age comes wisdom. True. With age, also comes death! True-True!
9.The Hanging Studies
Death has always been somewhat of a fascination to the intellectual lot. The changes the body and mind undergoes during the last breath has even been explained in a detailed manner by a scientist who personally sat down next to a wailing cancer patient to jolt down notes racing with the pulse of the poor guy! In cases like death by hanging, the body wiggles like a worm as it fights with all its in-built summation of power to escape itself from the strangulation struggle. There was this guy called Nicolas Minovicis, a forensic science professor and he wanted to experience first-hand, what it would feel like to die by hanging! For his inclusive study, Nicolas built a large tank like device consisting of rope that ran through a pulley fitted at the ceiling. On his first trail, an out-of-breath Nicolas barely survived 6 seconds. A further leap of faith and the next time, Nicolas brought assistants to pull the other end of the rope. With lots of practice, the scientist managed to endure 25 seconds. For the final showdown, Nicolas had something much convoluted- he decided to hang directly from the ceiling. But this time the constriction was too strong and he could last only 4 seconds. Serious neck damage traumatized his future decision. Later on, the Scientist discovered his alternate calling and embarked on a journey of Folk art, specifically Romanian Folk Art. Good for him!
Parasitology is one hell of a science and Giovanni Grassi’s extreme experiments prove it! Giovanni, a Sicilian doctor is yet another member of the scientific society to be named in the ever-growing Limca Book of weird records! So our guy was conducting an autopsy and came across tapeworms fiddling inside the large intestine. As usual, a peculiar thought came by and on 10 October 1878, the doctor decided to become a worm harvester!-the thought was to consume worm eggs and infect yourself with tapeworms. So, he extracted the eggs from the corpse (Oh Dear Lord!) and kept them alive in a solution and started ingesting the eggs on a regular basis. By the month end, Giovanni, being a typical human being experienced stomach discomfort and began pulling out worms from his ….. you know! Anyway, the experiment was a success. Years after this science incident, worm ingestion became a cult phenomenon. Gulping down eggs to harvest giant worms inside human stomach turned out into a competition of some sort!
7.The Human Cyborg
Terminators, Robocop and Captain Shepard (Even Darth Vader is a cyborg!) are some of noteworthy fictional cybernetic humans we have come across and at some point; we must have all felt that sudden urge to be one of them. Hell yea, I did! But here’s the guy who really did it! Meet Kevin Warwick, the world’s first “cyborg”. It all started with a bunch of microchips and electrodes for this Professor of Cyberkenetics and then there was no turning back. He has appeared as one of the Super Humans in Stan Lee’s episode on History TV. Recently, his Central Nervous System was linked to the core processor which makes him control robotic arms placed across the Atlantic Ocean! He even convinced his wife to embed herself with a Blue tooth chip so that they could communicate electronically. Now what would that language be? Care for some Klingon!
6.LET’S GET HIGH
Dr. Albert Hofmann enjoys the honor of being the first person ever to get high! The Swiss scientist, who gave us kids of a messed up generation- the LSD, carried out research on plants and the stimulants released by them. He came across the chemical lysergic acid diethylamide that made his first acid trip “real”. The effect was so alluring that he had to stop working for days to come as he suffered from ‘inception’- styled hallucinations. He increased the dose by 250 mg the second time and that took him to a new dimension of “Let’s get high!” (Imagine talking to a statue!) Despite all that stuff in his body, Hofmann lived till the age of 102. Maybe getting high ain’t that bad!
5.The Glass Eater
Want to shed those extra pounds! Follow Frederick Hoelzel’s diet. Right from his teen days, Frederick was used to eating things that weren’t meant to be eaten – you know, thing like glass and other assorted items! When he moved on to become a researcher, he decided to munch unusual materials in order to measure how quickly they passed through his intestines. For instance, he once said that it took him 8 hours to properly digest steel ball bearings! And later he would complain of diarrhea (Just kidding about the latter!) He continued this diet for years to come and the press named him the ‘Human Billy Goat.’ Point to remember: His favorite meal was small pieces of surgical cotton which was an integral part of his daily diet!
4.HUMAN SOUL HAS WEIGHT?
This is one dark chapter in scientific history! Dr. Duncan MacDougall, a creepy American physician came up with a theory that human soul has weight. The very moment, everybody went bonkers! After a serious of bizarre experiments, he arrived at a conclusion that human soul must be around 21 grams. An uncanny Ducan managed to kidnap (I guess!) 6 TB patients who were “in the process of dying” and weighed them. Not only this, he also carried similar activities on dogs and mice. Soul weight (Noetic Science) has also been described in Dan Brown’s ‘The Last Symbol’. Try reading it!
Science was trotting on an unfamiliar territory called Organ transplanting back in the 1950s and Vladimir Demikhov wanted to be on the flash news. So, he decided to create a two-headed dog, you heard that right! Let me talk you through the details- start by tagging the front portion of dog A to the neck of dog B by a mechanism called grafting. His experiments lead to new advancements in human organ transplantation. Ever heard of a two headed-monkey, goggle it!
2. Hey look, It’s Spidey!
On November 1933, Peter Parker …… Dr. Allan Walker Blair invited a female black widow onto his left index finger. The guest had no manners, she bit the professor. But the doctor was a gentleman; he held the spider for 10 seconds allowing its venom to enter his body. Apparently Dr. Allan was a curious guy but curiosity killed the cat, remember! Within minutes after the bite, he began to experience breathlessness and severe pain began to set in. At the hospital, Blair insisted on taking ECG to determine the effect of the venom (Funny guy!) but it was all clear like a sunny day. After a tormenting week, Blair came to a nasty conclusion- do not mess with the Black Widow. (P.S Not the Avengers!)
You know for a child born on the night of a raging lightning storm, Nikola Tesla broke all records and went on to become a shimmering light of scientific truth contrary to his midwife’s belief that he would grow up to be a bad omen. Tesla was a man who was ahead of his time and his front yard resembled much like the intro of Van Helsing. While he was busy experimenting with god-knows-what, the people of Planet Earth (most probably his neighbors!) resolved to agitation b’coz the last time he went into his lab, he created a mini- earthquake!
Tesla, best known for the invention of the Tesla coil and the Alternating Current, was a man of weird science in every way possible – from creating WMDs, conceiving the idea for radio, X-rays, electric cars and even smartphones( as early as 1910s), demonstrating remote-controlled robots to contacting sinister aliens. We all know the disparity between Thomas Edison and Tesla on their famous “War of the Currents” – the AC vs. DC thing. But did you know that Tesla used to work for the Edison Electric Light Company! Tesla was a germophobe; as a result he suffered from excessive hygiene habits just like that guy Howard Hughes. (The Aviator, remember!) But that didn’t stop him from being normal, he had an idea. Of course, he had a bloody brilliant idea! It’s Nikola Tesla we’re talking about. He generated hydro-electric power from Niagara Falls as he stood in his electric bath into which pure electricity passed by cleansing his body! That simple!
A futuristic thinker, Tesla’s most demanding invention is the DEATH RAY – an atomic weapon capable of destroying enemy planes by spitting enormous beams of plasma! But many sources reveal that this idea was never culminated. This particular invention was so advanced that after Tesla’s death; his body + his scientific journals and codex were secretly shipped to an unknown location. Nik lived his life like the next day would end up in a bubonic plague, enjoying every aspect of natural science. Now, who wouldn’t want to be as intriguing and enigmatic as him? By the way, I am not sure about his death. Maybe his daily dosage of electric bath overloaded his body physics and teleported him to an alternate universe!