At their best, scientists represent the best in humanity: intelligence, curiosity, and skeptical rigor. This allows scientists to do things that ordinary people wouldn’t be allowed to get away with. If a random person burst into your house with a bubbling test tube and shouted “Quick! Drink this!” you’d call the police. Put that person in a white lab coat, though, and you’ll only delay long enough to thank them for coming in the nick of time.
Scientists are human, however, and humans who’ve been given that level of trust sometimes prove to be the last people in the world who should be trusted.
From the the Nazis to America’s own horrific misdeeds, here are four of the most evil science experiments ever carried out.
Warning: This article contains details of experiments carried out with varying degrees of consent. If this is the sort of thing that upsets you, congratulations on not being a monster.
Evil Science Experiments: The Nazis
Nazi doctors tried to lighten the eyes of children by injecting them with dye. Image Source: Edit International
Almost any list of “X Most Evil Whatevers” is pretty much obligated to have a bunch of Nazis on it, even if it’s just a list of evil cupcake recipes. In non-consensual medical experiments of dubious scientific value, however, the Nazis really outdid themselves. Never has so much that was so bad been done for the enlightenment of so few for such little identifiable purpose.
At Auschwitz, Dr. Josef Mengele injected dye into the eyes of children to see if he could permanently change their color. He also famously tried to create conjoined twins by stitching his patients together.
Thank your lucky stars it didn’t work, because can you imagine if the Third Reich had perfected Siamese twin technology in time to win the war? Their elite Dopplesoldaten would have been unstoppable!
In 1942, Nazi doctors in Baranowicze, Poland strapped a young boy into a chair and repeatedly hit his head with a mechanized hammer.. It turns out that one out of one test subjects react negatively to this.