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Animal Testing | Craziest Animal Experiments in History

Animal Testing | Craziest Animal Experiments in History

Craziest Cases of Animal Experimentation Throughout History

Mike Rothschild
6.6k votes 3.3k voters 19 items
While a controversial practice, animal experimentation and animal testing has had a wide-ranging impact on our understanding of physiology, medicine, genetics, and disease. It's also inspired a number of experiments that one could conservatively call "unethical" and easily describe as "just plain crazy." Though today there are alternatives to animal testing, there have been lots of crazy animal testing experiments in history, but what are the most nutso?
Everything from pumping animals full of LSD to grafting additional heads onto dogs in an effort to prove how great Soviet science was, if you can imagine some scientist somewhere doing something to an animal, someone has probably done it. As far as animal testing facts, here is one: did you know that once rabbits were used as a pregnancy test? Or that spiders on speed build real crappy webs?
These are some of the strangest animal testing stories out there. Some are funny, some are disturbing, and many are both. No matter how you feel about the ethics of animal testing, you can at least rest easy knowing that male turkeys are just as attracted to a female turkey head on a stick as they are to a complete female turkey, apparently.
Upvote the weirdest and most absurd cases of animal testing throughout history below and hope that now that we know rats high on blow prefer jazz over classical, those little guys can go back to their daily routines.

Photo:  IFC Films

1 Getting Spiders High Build Cool Webs

Getting Spiders High Build Coo... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Craziest Cases of Animal Experimentation Throughout History
Photo: via Twitter

In 1995, a group of NASA scientists studied the effects of various intoxicants on the web-weaving abilities of spiders. Ostensibly, they sought to determine the relative toxicity levels of the drugs by examining the webs they created while baked or drunk.
What followed was confirmation of what we pretty much already knew about different drugs - the pot spider's web looks pretty good, until it stopped weaving, the spider on speed wove quickly and poorly, the acid-tripping spider wove a beautiful, symmetrical web that was utterly useless, and most surprisingly, the spider given caffeine made a total mess of their web, fairing the worst of any of the spiders.
Is this fascinating?

2 Jellyfish in Space

Jellyfish in Space is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Craziest Cases of Animal Experimentation Throughout History
Photo: via Pinterest

Dr. Dorothy Spangenberg was studying the potential effects of zero-gravity on human fetuses. Since actually doing so would be about the most immoral thing possible, she and her team packed 2,478 baby jellyfish onto the Space Shuttle Columbia and waited to see what would happen. Initially, the jellyfish adapted well to the environment, and bred themselves up to a space population of 60,000.
Sadly, back on earth, the new jellyfish were found to have greater "pulsing abnormalities" than usual - also known as "vertigo." The experiment showed that humans born in space might have problems once on the ground – a phenomenon that anyone who's spent time on a cruise ship then struggled to get their sea legs back after returning to land can confirm.
Is this fascinating?

3 Transparent Frogs Show off Their Insides

Transparent Frogs Show off The... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Craziest Cases of Animal Experimentation Throughout History
Photo: via Imgur

To help further their insight on organ growth and tumor development, Japanese cancer researchers at Hiroshima University bred transparent frogs, whose internal organs can be seen through their skins. This startling breed was actually an accident, as the scientists meant to create green glowing frogs by attaching fluorescent protein to a stretch of their DNA. But when the fluorescent frogs mated, one out of every 16 turned out clear.
The scientists intended to patent the process – if only they could figure out what actually happened.
Is this fascinating?

4 Monkey Head Transplant

Monkey Head Transplant is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Craziest Cases of Animal Experimentation Throughout History
Photo: via Twitter

Not to be outdone by Soviet double-headed dogs, American researcher Robert White performed the world's first successful monkey-head transplant on March 14, 1970. In a carefully choreographed operation, White removed a monkey's head from its body and put it on a beheaded monkey body. Astonishingly, the monkey woke up and tried to bite one of the surgeons, and survived a day and a half before dying.
While the public was appalled by the experiment, White continued to press on, hoping for a day when human heads can be taken off dying bodies and put onto healthy ones.
Is this fascinating?

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The Guerrilla Grafting Movement - Secretly Grafting Fruit-Bearing Branches Onto Ornamental City Trees

The Guerrilla Grafting Movement - Secretly Grafting Fruit-Bearing Branches Onto Ornamental City Trees

The Guerrilla Grafting Movement – Secretly Grafting Fruit-Bearing Branches Onto Ornamental City Trees

Considering the level of poverty in the city, free access to fruit is a fantastic idea. With no means to afford a decent meal, the homelesss would benefit from this. However, guerrilla grafting is actually illegal.
In many populous areas, urban foresters make it so that the fruit trees don't grow fruit, in a way to keep fallen fruit from making a mess on sidewalks and attracting animals. Most of the Bay Area fruit trees are fruitless, which guerilla-grafters do not clearly like. City authorities view urban fruit trees as a public annoyance, while agriculture lovers see them as an opportunity to share fruit free for anyone who strolls by.
According to there social media page on Facebook, "Guerilla Grafters is a grassroots group that sees a missed opportunity for cities to provide a peach or a pear to anyone strolling by. Their objective is to restore sterile city trees into fruit-bearers by grafting branches from fertile trees.
The project may not resolve food scarcity, but it helps foster a habitat that sustains us." Their top mission, is to make quality and delicious, healthy fruit available to city residents through grafts. As kind as their actions may be viewed to most of us, guerrilla grafting is considered vandalism and is illegal by San Francisco's Department of Public Works. It does not matter, if it is a publicly owned tree on a sidewalk, messing with it or altering it is a crime. As of 2012, the Department of Public Works didn't plan to actively target grafters. "Unless someone is caught in the act, there's not much we could do," said spokespersonn Gloria Chan.

She also adds that it is hard to catch the person who grafted a public tree because the average person has no idea what a graft that is illegal looks like. In that case, it's likely to not be reported at all.
These urban gardeners don't see the law as a wall from their ability to uphold there mission. "People think of fruit trees as a kind of nuisance," said Tara Hui, member of the group since its launch five years ago. "The intention of doing guerrilla grafting is not so much for the sake of challenging authority, but to set an example – a working example – to counter the arguments.

If we have a prototype, we can have a legitimate rational discussion on the issue." Every grafted tree has an caretaker, someone who promises to frequently care for and check up on, ensuring it doesn't cause problems at all. She also added in that many devoted fruit-lovers tried legal ways to begin with.
She had wanted to plant, in front of her house, a fruit tree that she can care for herself. Being able to take care of it herself, she thought she could do the deed. Repeatedly, her efforts were thwarted by the Department of Public Works and the San Francisco nonprofit Friends of the Urban Forest. Instead of planting her own fruit tree, she began to connect with various other residents who were beyond unhappy about the matter. Together, they all wanted fruit trees and by using social media, they were able to delve into other courses of action.
The grafters like to believe their activities as a different means of farming or street decorations. They don't believe grafts will pose serious threats like slips and damage to the host trees, "With grafts, you only have a few branches that are fruit-bearing, and it's really very manageable," said guerrilla grafter Miriam Goldberg.
They take the full responsibility required of them to ensure that all fruit is harvested safely. Grafters are also well-prepped to deal with upkeep tasks such as pruning, watering and propping.
"The hope is that through this one small act (of grafting) we can reconnect with a shared space and reconnect with each other," Hui said. "Ultimately, I think codes and regulations should respond to the reality of people's lives. Just taking an evening stroll, and then you see a fruit and you reach over and now you're nourished."
There's a web app, that Guerrilla grafters started up to share along tips on grafting and to guide members to find tree that could possibly be acceptable candidate to have fruit-bearing branches.
Through their online page on Facebook, they can report future events and help you track the progress of their pear, cherry and plum grafts.
Be sure to spread this along, if you like it, with your friends and even inspire anyone you know. Anything can become possible with a little dose of inspiration.

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