Top 20 Most Insane Medical Experiments In History

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Top 20 Most Insane Medical Experiments In History

Medical science has yielded miracles in the last 100 years alone. Our life expectancy is longer than at any point in human history, and fewer and fewer people die every year due to preventable diseases all thanks to the hard work, brilliance, and ingenuity displayed by medical professionals. Alas, just like every part of human nature, there is a dark side to medical progress. Throughout history, countries, individual doctors, and sometimes psychologists have conducted experiments so horrible, they both shock and awe. While there are far more deplorable experiments out there, we took the liberty of narrowing it down to the top 20 – in the hopes that we can all learn something from these horrific experiments.

20. The Stanford Prison Experiment

Ever heard of “good cop, bad cop”? Take that a step further and you get “prison guard – prisoner”. In the early 1970’s, a psychologist named Philip Zimbardo sought to answer the question of how individuals would act in both situations. He chose individuals to act in both capacities, alternating periodically. The subjects became increasingly cruel and sadistic so much so that the experiment ended after just 6 days.


19. Leo Stanley’s Testicle Transplants

For over 40 years, Leo Stanley worked at San Quentin State Penitentiary as the physician. There, he was able to conduct bizarre experiments, including the removal of dead inmates testicles and implanting them in live inmates.


18. South Africa’s Aversion Project

Taking place in South Africa, psychiatrist Aubrey Levin sought to eliminate certain behaviors in patients by shocking (and even occasionally castrating) them any time they engaged in certain behaviors. The goal was to eliminate the need in the patients to engage in those behaviors. Despite the obvious deplorable nature of the experiments, no repercussions ever occurred for Dr. Levin.

17. Wendell Johnson’s Monster Study

In a horrific experiment on, of all things, orphans, Wendell Johnson sought to find out what would happen to two groups of children when they received completely different feedback. One group was praised for their speaking ability, the other was scolded for any mistake they made when speaking. As you can imagine, the group that was mistreated experienced speech difficulties and trauma for the rest of their lives.