The most desperate experiments for the sake of science: the third hand, swallowing worms, bathing and vomiting


A resident of Novosibirsk, Mikhail Raduga, ventured to carry out a trepanation of his own skull on his own and placed a pair of electrodes with wires through the resulting hole in order to try to control his dreams (see the publication in MK “Researcher Raduga told how he drilled his skull to control dreams …”) This our compatriot had many predecessors who decided to make their body “stuffing” from electronic devices in order to get new, hitherto unseen opportunities.

Professor’s third hand

American Tim Cannon sewed a special microchip under the skin that can constantly determine the body temperature and blood pressure of its owner. This controller element can, based on the results of its observations, send commands to the control electronic system in the “smart house” where Cannon lives. Thanks to such signals, in the event of an unfavorable change in Tim’s well-being parameters, by the time he returns to his own “penates”, the conditions optimal for him in this situation will already be prepared there – for example, the brightness of the lighting is reduced, water of a suitable temperature is supplied to the bathroom …

Something similar happened 20 years ago to Kevin Warner, a British professor of cybernetics at Coventry University. Thanks to the implant chip, Warner was able to remotely open the doors in his house, turn the lights on and off, and regulate the operation of the heating system. Later, the brave experimenter went on a much more risky experiment: a chip was sewn into his forearm, which is equipped with electrodes in the form of microscopic spikes. This implant became a sensor that allowed the professor to manipulate a specially created artificial hand – it repeated all the movements of the hand of Warwick himself.

Survival Limit

A military doctor, an officer who served in the US Air Force, John Paul Stapp, ventured to test the limits of the strength of the human body on himself. The researchers were very interested in the consequences of sudden acceleration and deceleration – which is very important for the work of pilots and the creation of new aviation safety systems. At that time, scientists considered the 18 G overload to be the limit for survival. Exceeding it will inevitably lead to death. But Stapp was sure that the human body is much “stronger”. He decided to prove it on his own body. The experimenter used a special cart equipped with powerful rocket engines. This “vehicle” almost instantly accelerated to tremendous speeds (over 1000 km / h), and then just as sharply slowed down. As a result, it was possible to achieve overload values ​​of 46 G. And at the same time, Stapp survived. However, it was not without serious damage: the experimenter received fractures, blood vessels in his eyes burst, his retina detached … It took a long time to restore his health.

Your own surgeon

Stapp’s compatriot, surgeon Evan O’Neill Kane, decided that, thanks to his vast practical experience, he would be able to perform an operation to remove appendicitis himself. And he will do it even better than if one of his colleagues would do such a surgical intervention. The doctor operated on himself under local anesthesia, and in order to better see the entire area of ​​​​action, he installed several mirrors around. Operation was successfully completed. And this inspired Kane to the next similar feat. After some time, it turned out that he needed to remove the resulting hernia, and the 70-year-old doctor by that time again undertook a “self-operation”. Alas, this time the results were not so brilliant. The surgical procedure itself was successful, but complications soon arose, and Kane developed pneumonia, from which the experimental doctor died a few months later.

Kettlebell in an intimate place

Two British scientists, G. Woollard and E. Carmichael in the mid-1930s. studied the phenomenon of pain. They were interested in the phenomenon when pain that arose in one part of the body evokes similar responses in another part of the body, which is completely healthy and not subjected to uncomfortable external influences. The experiment at some stage looked very peculiar. One of the scientists was lying on the table, and the other from time to time put a heavy weight on his “causal place”. At the same time, the subject described in words where, what and how he starts to hurt, how severe the pain is, and the colleague immediately recorded this information in a workbook.

Cholera “cocktail”

And again, the heroes of our digest are doctors.

The well-known Russian and Soviet scientist, epidemiologist and microbiologist Academician Nikolai Fedorovich Gamaleya, dealing with the problems of preventing infections, experimented a lot, creating vaccines for vaccination. At the same time, he repeatedly tested the safety and effectiveness of such newly developed methods and drugs on himself. For example, once he “treated himself” with a portion of liquid with cholera vibrios in it. Thus, the scientist was able to prove that the dosed intake of bacilli inside gives the effect of a preventive vaccination against this terrible disease. Nikolai Fedorovich also used his own body as a “test system” to prove the effectiveness of the developed anti-rabies vaccines.

Disgusting experience

And long before that, in 1793, the young American doctor Stubbins Furf, in order to obtain real knowledge about the causes of the spread of the most dangerous disease, made a double sacrifice: he not only risked his life, but also voluntarily subjected himself to procedures that cause extreme disgust in any person. At that time, yellow fever was rampant. Scientists could not determine how this disease was transmitted, but the most popular version was that the infection can be picked up if there was direct contact with the fluids secreted by the body of a sick person. However, Firth was sure that this was not the case; yellow fever spread in a different way.

Since one of the characteristic phenomena accompanying the course of the disease is severe vomiting, it was the vomit of a specific very dark color that was considered the most serious threat. So the ascetic doctor decided to “test” them. Even a simple description of his experiments impresses with its prohibitive unaesthetic. Firth poured fresh vomit, taken from sick people, on specially inflicted cuts on the skin, rubbed it into his eyes, even plunged into a bath filled with the corresponding liquid substance … And in the end he did not get sick! However, Dr. Firth and his contemporaries failed to finally deal with the culprit of the spread of this disease. Only half a century later, scientists were able to determine that yellow fever is transmitted through the blood, and its carriers are most often mosquitoes.

Ascaris, I’ll eat you!

The famous Italian parasitologist Giovanni Grassi has been studying the problem of worms in the body for a long time and very seriously. In the autumn of 1878, in order to clearly trace the cycle of development of such a parasite, the roundworm most common in humans, the scientist decided on a very troublesome experiment: when opening another corpse, he found eggs laid by these disgusting worms in the intestines of a deceased … and swallowed them. After that, the scientist listened very carefully to his own feelings, fixing his own well-being in a special journal. A few days later, Grassi felt a characteristic discomfort. After that, he began to closely monitor the “production” of his digestive system every day, and after three weeks he received a clear result: he fished out fresh eggs of worms from a chamber pot. The experiment, according to Giovanni himself, was a success, it only remained to get rid of its undesirable consequences, which Grassi successfully did with the help of already well-tested therapeutic solutions. And the observational data obtained formed the basis of the scientific work published by the senior researcher, which made a great contribution to the development of helminthology.

The beer didn’t go easy

Harvard scientist John Crandon really wanted to prove that scurvy is not an infectious disease, but the culprit of its occurrence in humans is a lack of vitamin C in the body. An experiment on himself, which Crandon decided in 1939, may even seem very attractive to someone: the doctor “sat down” on a rigid diet, leaving only beer, crackers and cheese in his daily diet. This menu had to be maintained for almost three weeks. Only after that, John developed characteristic signs of the disease: his gums began to bleed, his hair fell out, his skin became rough and flaky … Having achieved the expected result and received confirmation of his version, the doctor quickly improved his health with the help of several injections of vitamin C and the transition to an abnormal diet.

A glass for breakfast, a glass for lunch

By the way, about food. In 2013, a US programmer Robert Reinhart came up with his own “know-how”: a special cocktail that supposedly contains all the proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, vitamins and microelements necessary for the body. To test the effectiveness of the result of his work, the developer completely abandoned traditional food and switched to using the created “elixir”: for breakfast, lunch and dinner, he drank a portion of the miracle composition diluted in water. This, according to Reinhart, led to a noticeable improvement in his well-being, and besides, it gave not only significant savings in money, but also significantly reduced the time of each meal: he drank a glass – and that’s it! It also saves time for cooking and washing dishes. However, in response to the enthusiasm published by the enthusiast about his new quasi-food, many dietitians express their negative opinion about such drinking diets.

A completely different “edible” experience was put on by Morgan Spurlock. He decided to check with his own body what would happen to a person who eats only fast food? The experiment lasted a month. Its results are extremely deplorable for Spurlock. Firstly, he gained as much as 11 kilograms in weight. In addition, the man began to have liver problems, as well as chronic insomnia.

calorie gold

Now it’s time to mention the “reverse method”. An enthusiast from the University of Chicago – apparently a researcher by nature – Fred Helzel decided to find out (well, why, why would he need to know this ??) how quickly inedible things leave the human body. To get an answer to his question, Helzel included chopped corn cobs (without grains), bottle caps, sawdust, paper, surgical cotton, coins and even pieces of a gold chain in his menu … The conclusions made by the researcher are as follows: the gastrointestinal tract most quickly coped with the “expulsion” of pieces of twine. Items from base metals came out after 8 hours, and gold lingered inside the gastrointestinal tract the longest, the body parted with it only almost a day later.

The bluest of men

At the end of the last century, an original experiment with a very specific result was put on by the American Paul Carason. As a result of the stress caused by the death of his father, the man developed severe dermatitis. Paul did not resort to the services of a doctor, deciding instead to cope with the disease on his own. As a remedy, he began to take large doses of an antibacterial drug, which contains silver. The effect turned out to be positive: not only did Karason’s dermatitis go away, but also the pain in his joints due to developing arthritis disappeared. Alas, the joy of the “self-healer” was soon replaced by great chagrin. He learned too late that silver tends to accumulate in the body. And at the same time, the color of the skin changes – it turns blue. One of Paul’s friends, visiting him one day, was struck by the appearance of an old friend: in front of him was a blue man. It was not possible to reverse the process of such pigmentation, and therefore Paul Karason remained blue until his death.

Kung Fu vs Train

A strange and practically hopeless experiment, in the opinion of the vast majority of people, was decided to be carried out 15 years ago by one of the Chinese. A 17-year-old resident of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China, located in the south of the country, became interested in kung fu. The young man believed in the power of this system so much, he was so inspired by his own level of skill that he had already acquired, that he once thought of … stopping the train, as they say, with his bare hands. The Chinese chose a position at the entrance to the station, and when the next train appeared, he jumped out in front of him on the rails and began to perform one of the kung fu exercises – “xianglong shiba zhang” (which means “throw the dragon with eighteen strokes of the palms”). The driver, noticing a man on the tracks, began to honk and tried to slow down. But this attempt was doomed to failure – the distance to the barrier turned out to be too small. The experimenter was saved by a policeman who happened to be nearby – he pulled the guy literally from under the wheels of the locomotive.

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