7 Creepiest Science Experiments of All Time That Will Give You Nightmares

Scientists often run into doing crazy things in the quest of discovering something important. But some of these experiments aren’t just worthless but are unbelievably creepy.
Kashyap Vyas
Experiments in the Revival of OrganismsTechfilm Studio/Wikimedia Commons  

Science is a beautiful gift to humanity. It can tell us what is true over mere assumptions by validating the theories with practical experiments. The scientific experiments have often led to important discoveries that eventually helped the mankind to live a better life. Sometimes though, scientists in their quest for knowledge end up conducting experiments that are not only unethical but equally disturbing. The world has witnessed many of such spine-chilling and weird experiments that went badly wrong and even cost lives.

Here’s a list of 7 creepiest science experiments conducted ever that’ll surely give you nightmares:

Unit 731

7 Creepiest Science Experiments of All Time That Will Give You Nightmares

You might have heard about the inhumane experiments done by Nazis during World War II. But they were not alone.


The Imperial Japanese Army’s Unit 731 carried out atrocities in the name of scientific experiments, some details of which are still left to be uncovered. It was until 1984 that Japan acknowledged about conducting cruel experiments on humans to prepare for germ warfare. Setup in 1938, the objective of Unit 731 was to develop biological weapons and was supported by Japanese universities and medical schools that supplied doctors and research staff to carry out such vile experiments. The unit used thousands of Chinese prisoners and Asian civilians as guinea pigs to develop killer diseases. The experiments included infecting wartime prisoners with cholera, anthrax, plague and other pathogens. Horrific still, some of the experiments involved vivisection without anesthesia and pressure chambers to identify how much a human can take before bursting. What’s creepier is that post-war American administration provided safe passage to some of those involved with Unit 731 in exchange of findings of their experiments.

Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

7 Creepiest Science Experiments of All Time That Will Give You Nightmares
Source: National Archives Atlanta, GA (U.S. government)/Wikimedia Commons

The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male is infamous because of the tragedy it caused to people suffering from the disease in the name of free treatment. Between 1932 and 1972, 600 men were originally enrolled for the project, consisting of 399 with latent Syphilis and 201 as control group. Monitored by Doctors of U.S. Public Health Service, these men were given only placebos such as aspirin and mineral supplements, rather than treating with penicillin which was the recommended treatment at that time. The purpose of the study was to understand the effect and spread of the disease on human body. Because of the unethical considerations by scientists, 28 participants perished from Syphilis, 100 died because of related complications and more than 40 spouses were diagnosed with the disease, passing Syphilis to 19 children at birth. President Clinton is 1997 issued his apology to the survivors and families of the victims of the study, stating “The United States government did something that was wrong—deeply, profoundly, morally wrong… It is not only in remembering that shameful past that we can make amends and repair our nation, but it is in remembering that past that we can build a better present and a better future.”

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Two Headed Dogs

Vladimir Demikhov was a successful surgeon and his studies have helped medical science to advance especially in the field of organ transplant and coronary surgery. Demikhov was the first person to perform a successful coronary artery bypass operation on a warm-blooded creature. But, behind his successful operations, there are few of his experiments that can make you feel uncomfortable. His famous two-headed dog experiment is one of them. He stitched the head, shoulders and front legs of a puppy onto the neck of a German shepherd. Although the surgery was a success as both dogs could move around independent of each other, they didn’t survive very long due to tissue rejection. Demikhov created 20 such two-headed dogs, but the highest one survived only for a month. While the experiment may sound cruel, it indeed helped in pioneering organ transplants in humans.

Testicle Transplants

7 Creepiest Science Experiments of All Time That Will Give You Nightmares
Source: Marin County Free Library

In one of the most disturbing experiments, Leo Stanley, the physician in charge at San Quentin Prison in California surgically transplanted the testicles of executed criminals into living inmates. Stanley felt that males who committed crimes share a common characteristic – low testosterone levels and raising it would reduce the crime rates. More than 600 inmates became the victim of Stanley’s crazy theory, and when there was a shortage of human testicles, he went on to inject liquefied animal testicles into the prisoners. Stanley claimed that the experiment was a success by citing a Caucasian prisoner who felt “energetic” after transplanting the testicle from an executed African-American convict.

The Stanford Prison Experiment

7 Creepiest Science Experiments of All Time That Will Give You Nightmares
Source: Eric. E. Castro/Wikipedia

In 1971, a group of researchers at Stanford University conducted an experiment to investigate the causes of conflict between prisoners and guards. 24 students were assigned the roles of prisoners and guards randomly and were put into a prison-like environment. Meant to last for two weeks, the study was abruptly ended after only six days, as it became difficult to control and maintain order. Despite being told not to use any form of violence, one in every three guards showed their tendency to abuse. Surprisingly, many of the prisoners accepted the abuses and led two of them to suffer emotional trauma. The study showed that how power of situations can influence individual’s behavior.

Zombie Dogs

Known as Experiments in the Revival of Organisms, Russian scientists Dr. Sergei Brukhoneko and Boris Levinskovsky released a video of dog heads that were kept alive by an artificial blood circulation system. Using a special heart-lung apparatus called the autojektor, the scientists showed dog heads responding to sound by wiggling their ears, blinking eyes and even licking their mouths. The experiment was repeated again by American scientists in 2005 by flushing all the blood from the dog and replacing it with oxygen and sugar-filled saline. After three hours, a blood transfusion and an electric shock the dogs were back from dead.


7 Creepiest Science Experiments of All Time That Will Give You Nightmares
Source: Central Intelligence Agency/Wikimedia Commons

MKUltra is one of the most famous projects conducted by CIA to develop mind-control techniques that can be used against enemies during war. Lasted for more than a decade from 1950 to 1970, the project’s main goal was to remain ahead in the mind-control technology. But the scope widened eventually resulting into illegal drug testing on thousands of Americans. Using drugs like LSD and other chemicals along with other forms of psychological torture, the agency tried to alter brain functions and manipulate mental states of the people. The documentation related to the project was ordered to be destroyed completely, but in 1977 the Freedom of Information Act released more than 20,000 pages on the program.