"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).
| ||José M. R. Delgado in the Bull Fight Arena|
Spanish neurologist Jose Delgado was not only convinced that electrical stimulation of the brain was the key to understanding the biological bases of social behaviour, but he was also prepared to prove his case in a rather risky fashion.
So on a spring evening in 1963 he came face to face with Lucero, a 250-kilogram fighting bull owned by the landowner Ramón Sánchez, who had granted Delgado the use of a small practice ring on his estate of La Almarilla in Córdoba for the experiment. Lucero lumbered towards him. Delgado pressed a button on the remote-control. The radio-controlled electrodes he had placed in the brain few days before the experiment activated. This instantly dissipated the animal’s aggression; Lucero skidded to a halt and trotted off.
|Human Ape (National Geographic)|
Watch a short documentary by National Geographic about self recognition in apes and humans (including Gordon Gallups mirror test).
Here a more recent test with an elephant.
|Hammer and Feather on the Moon|
On 2 August, 1971, the astronaut David Scott dropped a feather and a hammer weighing forty times as much simultaneously. Both hit the surface of the Moon at exactly the same moment. Although the result was a foregone conclusion, it was still reassuring, as a NASA report on the Apollo 15 mission later stated. After all, the astronauts’ ability to get home safely depended entirely on the theory associated with this experiment holding water.
|Mars: Life on the Red Planet|
It was 28 July 1976 when, 205 million miles from the Earth, a grasping arm reached out to resolve one of the greatest questions ever posed by humanity. A small shovel on the end of the arm tipped a handful of Mars dust into a funnel leading to the biology module of the Viking I spacecraft. This section of the Mars lander housed three experiments, which should have provided a conclusive answer to the question of whether there is life on Mars. Instead, the results have occupied scientist Gilbert Levin’s every waking (and even dreaming) moment for the past 32 years. His life became one long crusade against the US space agency NASA, which is bent on suppressing the truth, or at least what Levin believes to be the truth.
As Levin explains: “The only conclusion consistent with all the known facts is that the Viking Labeled Release Experiment discovered microorganisms in the soil of Mars.”
Watch a short documentary about the misson.