Science moves the world forward, we all hope. We all want the world to advance so that we can come to that point where cars can drive us and where we can enjoy life while a computer does a bit of this and a bit of that for us. But, scientific experiments can really be dangerous. They can be dangerous for the scientists working on them, as well as the environment which can suffer due to people’s negligence or ill intent.
There have been plenty of scientific experiments in history which were by all means dangerous. You might have heard of some of them. Here is a recap of the most dangerous ones.
The Milgram Experiment
A scientist named Stanley Milgram decided to perform a sociological study in 1961, shortly after the trial of Nazi war criminal, Adolf Eichman, started. He was wondering whether Eichman and his followers and accomplices were simply following orders but were not evil without a second thought. The experiment included an actor and a test subject. They could talk to one another but not see one another. The test subject would ask the actor questions and the actor would answer. Every wrong answer was punished by an electric shock. The test subjects often continued to shock and induce pain, even after they had been told that they should stop by the victim, in this case. They continued because they were also told by a higher authority that they would not have any responsibility and that there would be no permanent damage. Does that mean that there is a bit of sadism in all of us?
Infected Mosquitoes in Avon Park, Georgia and Savannah
During the Cold War, things could get pretty rough in the United States and Russia. 1956 and 1957 was not a good year for towns Georgia, Savannah and Avon Park in Florida. They had it bad because the US Military was testing biological warfare at the time, infected mosquitoes. People suffered from encephalitis, stillbirth, yellow fever, typhoid and respiratory problems. US soldiers were masked as health activists at the time and they took photos of the sick to document their progress. There were several deaths during this “test”.
Soviet Union Experimentation on Humans
The Soviet Union wasn’t any better, however. Their experiments started from 1921 in the so called poison laboratories, named Laboratory 1, Laboratory 12 and Kamera. They were covert, yet people there were given all sorts of poisoned food and drinks, in order to test and find the perfect poison, which is without a trace, post mortem. Prisoners from Gulags were brought, as well as regular people of varying ages. Needless to say, people died.
The CERN Large Hadron Collider
People think of human experiments as very dangerous and unethical, but rarely do they consider that a black hole could be created in Switzerland. Yes, scientists assure us that the hole would only be a rather small quantum hole, and not on the level of cosmological black holes, but given how difficult it is to understand particle physics and quantum mechanics, their explanations could very well mean that the entire world might be swallowed. Most of us hope that the latter is not the case, but that we would get more progress rather than a hungry black hole.
These are some of the world’s most dangerous and unethical scientific experiments. There are more, however, so be prepared to be surprised.