History's Most Ethically
Challenged Scientists Will
Give You Nightmares For

Science has pretty much changed our world … mostly for the better. But there's a dark side to this field and some scientists chose to leave their ethics at the door before conducting some of the most controversial experiments in human history.

Giovanni Aldini

Giovanni-Aldini-mad-scientist Credit

This mad scientist applied conducting rods on hung murderer George Forster's rectum and used electricity to essentially reanimate him in front of a live audience. The corpse started to punch, kick and flinch. Eventually his left eye popped open from the stimulation, horrifying one spectator to death shortly after.

Vladimir Demikhov

Vladimir-Demikhov-two-headed-dog-experiment Credit

In 1954, Vladimir Demikhov grafted the head of a puppy onto a German shepherd's neck. Eventually, the animals died from tissue rejection. But the Soviet surgeon managed to create 19 more of these pet Frankensteins.

Johann Conrad Dippel

Johann-Conrad-Dippel-mad-scientist Credit

The theologian, philosopher and alchemist created Dippel's Oil made from blood, bones and other elements from animals. He even tried using a funnel and a hose to move the soul of one corpse into another. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that he was born in castle Frankenstein in 1673.

Dr. Sigmund Rascher

Dr-Sigmund-Rascher-Nazi-scientist Credit

The Nazi scientist conducted experiments such as hypothermia research on the prisoners of the Dachau concentration camp during WWII. Hundreds of victims were exposed to malaria, high-altitudes and other extreme conditions. It was through these experiments that he also developed standard cyanide capsules.

Stubbins Ffirth

Stubbins-Ffirth-vomit-drinking-doctor Credit

In the 1800s, Doctor Ffirth hypothesized that yellow fever was not infectious, which he tried proving by pouring vomit from an infected patient into open wounds and then later drinking the vomit himself. Since he didn't get sick, he deduced that yellow fever could only infect those that had the illness injected directly into their bloodstream through a mosquito bite.

Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

Tuskegee-Syphilis-Experiment-mad-scientists Credit

In this instance, the U.S. Public Health Service was the mad scientist because they intentionally infected black males with syphilis in order to study its debilitating effect on the human body. The experiment continued for 40 years, between 1932 and 1970 and the test subjects were actually convinced they were doing something good for humanity.

Shiro Ishii

Shiro-Ishii-Japanese-mad-scientist Credit

In 1936, a microbiologist of the Imperial Japanese Army built Unit 731, a compound of over 150 buildings on the outskirts of Harbin, China, where he could conduct terrifying experiments like vivisection on pregnant women and amputations and reattachment of limbs. He also purposely infected victims with viruses among other things. Some experiments even involved rape.

Josef Mengele, Nazi Doctor

Josef-Mengele-Nazi-doctor Credit

He was known as the Angel of Death for determining which prisoners would be forced into labor at Auschwitz, which ones were to be killed and which ones were ideal for his inhumane scientific experiments. After the scientific studies were over, the surviving subjects were murdered.

Andrew Ure

Andrew-Ure-corpse-reanimator Credit

On Nov. 4th, 1818, Scottish doctor Andrew Ure cut a recently hung man named Matthew Clydesdale in the neck, his left hip and one of his heels. Then he inserted rods and used electrical stimulation from a battery to give him the appearance of life. Ure was even convinced that had Clydesdale not had his neck broken, he could have brought the dead man back to life.


Paracelsus-astrology-toxicology-mad-scientist Credit

In the 16 century, Paracelsus allegedly used his knowledge of astrology and toxicology as well as material from people, like hair and semen to create a homunculus, a small Golem-like human that was no taller than a foot.