"The Mad Science Book" is the UK edition of the German bestseller "Das Buch der verrückten Experimente". The amazing stories of 113 strange experiments from the middle ages to today. Entertaining, mind opening, deeply researched, with original illustrations (the second volume has not yet been licensed for the UK or US. Foreign rights).
The weirdest experiments
Visitors to this website voted for their favorite weird science experiment. The ranking:
1. The three Christs of Ypsilanti -Three men think they are Jesus. What happens when they meet?(1959) full story
2. Diagnosing schizophrenics with spider webs (1955) full story
3. The hanging studies (1905) full story
4. Brilliantly saying nothing. Does anyone notice? (1970) full story
5. Staying in bed for one year (1986) full story
6. Crucifiying volunteers (1984) more
Das Buch der verrückten Experimente (Bertelsmann 2004)
Das neue Buch der verrückten Experimente (Bertelsmann 2009)
De Galna Experimentens Bok (Fahrenheit 2006)
매드 사이언스 북 (Puriwa Ipari 2008)
111 najbardziej szalonych eksperymentów (Proszynski 2009)
疯狂实验史(新知文库;) (SDX Joint Publishing Company 2009)
Below you will find filmclips in connection to the experiments in the books. Please note "book 1" refers to "The Mad Science Book", "book 2" to "Das neue Buch der verrückten Experimente" the second volume that has not yet been published in English (see foreign rights).
|Starving for Science |
"Will You Starve That They Be Better Fed?" ran the slogan on the leaflet that the biologist Ancel Keys had circulated to community service workers. Keys wanted to test how to bring semi-starved people back to normal. For finding out ne needed semi-starved people. For the selected 36 volunteers the experiment that followed remained "the most significant event in their lives". Right up to the 1990s, they regularly held reunions.
After the experiment, three of them changed their profession and became chefs. In this documantary a former test subject comments on historical footage of the experiment.
Common Cold Research at Salisbury
The Vomit Comet
Stephen Hawking flies in the Vomit Comet
|The Two Headed Dog|
Russian surgeon Vladimir Demikhov had carried out a heart transplant operation on dogs, and had subsequently conducted lung transplants and bypass operations as well. In 1954 he approached the ultimate transplantation: he sewed a young dog's head onto a second dog’s neck.
Even at the time, there was controversy over what insights were supposed to be gained from these experiments, but they did succeed in raising Demikhov’s profile. After the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik I in 1957 made it the first nation to put a satellite into orbit, Demikhov’s operations were hailed as the "Sputnik of surgery".
"Altered States" (Title Sequence)
|Controversial TV-Spot by the Republicans|
This is probably the most famous experiment that actually never has been done. American market researcher James Vicary claimed that he had exposed the audience in a cinema unwittingly to the secret instructions ‘Eat Popcorn!’ and ‘Drink Coke!’ With the result that the sales of Coca-Cola in the cinema foyer increased by 18.1 percent, while those of popcorn rose by 57.5 percent. Later he admitted that the whole story had been fabricated.
Vicary’s experiment had its last major airing to date during the US Presidential elections of 2000, when in a TV advert promoting the Republic candidate George W. Bush unseen by viewers, the word RATS was flashed up momentarily across the whole screen when a Democrat policy was mentioned. See for yourself at 0:25.
|Harry Harlow in a CBS Segment|
The cloth mother psychologist Harry Harlow built for his baby monkeys is one of the most enigmatic devices ever built for an experiment. In this old news footage he explains CBS television newscaster Charles Collingwood what it is all about.