weirdexperiments.com

stories from the wilder side of science

Sources & Links

1304 Theodoric and the Rainbow
[source]
von Freiberg, D. (around 1310) De iride et radialibus impressionibus. Translation: Theodoric of Freiberg: On the Rainbow. A Source Book in Medieval Science, ed. by E. Grant. (1974), pp. 435-441.


1600 A Balanced Existence
[source]
Sanctorius, S. (1614) De Statica Medicina. Translation: Being the Aphorisms of Sanctorius (1728), J. Osborn.


1604 Stones in the Head
[external link]
The Galileo Project from Rice University is an extensive website dealing with Galileo Galilei and his age. It contains a biography of Galileo, sketches of his contemporaries, information on historical events and student projects. 
[source]
Galileo (1638) Discorsi e Dimostrazioni Matematiche Intorno a Due Nuove Scienze appresso gli Elzevirii. Translation: Dialogues Concerning the Two New Sciences (1914) Macmillan.


1620 Wood from Water
[source]
van Helmont, J. B. (1648) Ortus medicinae, Elzevir. Translation in A Source Book in Chemistry, 1400–1900. (1952) McGraw-Hill.


1729 The Mimosa Clock
[source]
De Mairan, J.J.D. (1729) Observation Botanique. Histoire de l'Academie Royale Sciences, p. 35.


1758 The Philosopher’s Socks
[source]
Symmer, R. (1759), New Experiments and Observations Concerning Electricity. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 51, p. 340.


1772 Electrocuting Eunuchs
[source]
Sigaud de la Fond, J.A. (1785) Précis historique et expérimental des phénomènes électriques: depuis l'origine de cette découverte jusqu'à ce jour, p. 231.


1774 A Sauna in the Cause of Science
[source]
Blagden, C. (1775), Experiments and Observations in a Heated Room. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 65, pp. 111–123, 484-495.


1783 Where Sheep May Safely Fly
[source]
Cavallo, T. (1785), The History and Practice of Aerostation, p. 68.


1802 The Winking Corpse
[extern link]
The complete Text of Mary Shelleys Frankenstein.
[source]
Aldini, J. (1804) Essai théorique et expérimental sur le Galvanism. L'Imprimerie de Fournier fils, p. 121.


1802 A Disgusting Doctorate
[source]
Ffirth, S. (1804), On Malignant Fever: With Attempt to  Prove its Non-Contagious Nature, from Reason, Observation, and Experiment, B. Graves.


1825 The Man With the Hole in His Stomach
[source]
Beaumont, W. (1833), Experiments and Observations on the Gastric Juice and the Physiology of Digestion, F. P. Allen.


1837 …And Introducing Darwin on the Bassoon
[source]
Darwin, C. (1881), The Formation of Vegetable Mould, through the Action of Worms John Murray, p. 12.


1845 Trumpeters on the Train
[source]
Buijs (Buys) Ballot, C. (1845), Akustische Versuche auf der Niederländischen Eisenbahn, nebst gelegentlichen Bemerkungen zur Theorie des Hrn. Prof. Doppler. Poggendorff’s Annalen der Physik und Chemie 66, pp. 321–351.


1852 The Lechery Muscle
[source]
Duchenne de Boulogne, G.-B. (1862), Méchanisme de la physionomie humaine Jules Renouard. Translation: The Mechanism of Human Facial Expression (1990), Cambridge University Press.


1883 Great – Someone Else Can Do All the Hard Work!
[sources]
Ringelmann, M. (1913), Recherches sur les Moteurs Animé Travails de l’Homme. Annales de l’Institut National Agronomique 2 (12), pp. 2–39.
Ingham, A. G. et al. (1974), The Ringelmann effect: Studies of group size and group performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 10, pp. 371–384.


1885 The Murderer’s Head
[source]
Laborde, M. (1885), L’exitabilité cérébrale après décapitation (1). Nouvelles recherches sur deux suppliciés: Gagny et Heurtevent. Revue scientifique 2e semestre, pp. 673–677.


1889 Guinea Pig Testicles – The Secret of Youth
[source]
Brown-Séquard, C. (1889) Des effets produits chez l’homme par injections sous-cutanées d’un liquide retité des testicules frais de cobaye et de chien. Comptes Rendus de la Société de Biologie 41, pp. 415–422.


1894 Dog Tired
[source]
de Manacéïne, M. (1894), Quelques observations experimentales sur l’influence de l’insomnie absolue. Archives Italiennes de Biologie 21, pp. 322–325.


1894 Low-flying Cats
[source]
Marey, E.-J. (1894), Mécanique animale: Des mouvements que certains animaux exécutent pour retomber sur leurs pieds lorsqu’ils sont précipités d’un lieu élevé. La Nature, pp. 369–370.


1895 Sleepless in Iowa
[source]
Patrick, G., und Gilbert, J. (1896), On the Effects of Loss of Sleep. The Psychological Review 3 (5), pp. 469–483.


1896 The World Turned Upside-Down
[source]
Stratton, G. M. (1897), Vision without Inversion of the Retinal Image. Psychological Review 4, pp. 341–360, 463–481.


1899 Bodies in the Vegetable Patch
[source]
Niezabitowski, E. R. v. (1902), Experimentelle Beiträge zur Lehre von der Leichenfauna. Vierteljahresschrift für gerichtliche Medizin und öffentliches Sanitätswesen (1), pp. 44–50.


1899 Tearing Out Pubic Hairs
[source]
Bier, A. (1899), Versuche über Cocainisirung des Rückenmarkes. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Chirurgie 51, pp. 361–369.


1900 Rat on a Detour
[source]
Small, W. S. (1900–1901), Experimental study of the mental processes of the rat. American Journal of Psychology 12, pp. 206–239.


1901 Attempted Murder in the Lecture Theatre

[source]
Jaffa, S. (1903), Ein psychologisches Experiment im kriminalistischen Seminar der Universität Berlin. Beiträge zur Psychologie der Aussage (1), pp. 79–99.


1901 The Soul Weighs 21 Grams
[source]
MacDougall, D (April 1907), ‘Hypothesis Concerning Soul Substance Together with Experimental Evidence of The Existence of Such Substance’. American Medicine. pp 240–243.


1902 Pavlov Only Rings Once
[source]
Pavlov, I. P. (1927), Conditioned Reflexes: An Investigation of the Physiological Activity of the Cerebral Cortex. Oxford University Press.


1904 The Horse Whisperer

[source]
Pfungst, O. (1907), Der kluge Hans. Das Pferd des Herrn von Osten. Johann Ambrosius Barth.


1912 Happy Birthday, Dear Cells!
[source]
Carrel, A. (1912), On the Permanent Life of Tissue Outside the Organism. The Journal of Experimental Medicine 15, pp. 516–528.


1914 The Building of the Tower of Banana

[source]
Köhler, W. (1921), Intelligenzprüfungen an Menschenaffen. Springer.


1917 Dr Watson’s Divorce

[source]
Magoun, H. W. (1981), John B. Watson and the Study of Human Sexual Behavior. Journal of Sex Research 17, pp. 368–378.


1920 Putting the Wind Up Little Albert
[source]
Watson, J. B. und Rayner, R. (1920), Conditioned Emotional Reactions. Journal of Experimental Psychology 3 (1), pp. 1–14.


1923 Male Urges in Female Bodies
[source]
Finkler, W. (1923), Kopftransplantation an Insekten. Archiv für mikroskopische Anatomie und Entwicklungsmechanik 99, pp. 104–133.


1926 Boxes Help People Think Outside the Box
[source]
Duncker, K. (1935), Zur Psychologie des produktiven Denkens. Springer.


1927 Assembly by Moonlight
[sources]
Gillespie, R. (1991), Manufacturing Knowledge: A History of the Hawthorne Experiment. Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge.
Mayo, E. (1933), The Human Problems of an Industrial Civilization. MacMillan.


1927 Kissing the Culture Medium
[source]
Kraus, J. H. (1927), 40000 Germs in a Kiss. Science and Invention 15 (169), p. 14.


1928 The Lust Curve
[source]
Boas, E. P. und Goldschmidt, E. F. (1932), The Heart Rate. C. C. Thomas.


1928 Mamba in the Blood
[source]
Eigenberger, F. (1928), Some Clinical Observations on the Action of Mamba Venom. Bulletin of the Antivenin Institute of America 2 (2), pp. 45–46.


1928 The Living Dog’s Head
[source]
Brukhonenko, S.S. and Tchetchuline, S. (1929) Expériences avec la tête isolée du chien. Journal de Physiologie et de Pathologie Générale 27 (1), pp. 31-45, 64-79.


1930 Mr Skinner’s Box
[source]
Skinner, B. F. (1938), The Behavior of Organisms: An Experimental Analysis, Appleton- Century.


1930 Chinese Travelling Companions
[source]
LaPiere, R. T. (1934), Attitudes vs. Actions. Social Forces 13, pp. 230–237.


1931 An Ape For a Kid Sister
[source]
Kellogg, W. N., und Kellogg, L. A. (1933), The Ape and the Child, Hafner Publishing Company.


1938 The 28-Hour Day
[source]
Kleitman, N. (1963), Sleep and Wakefulness. The University of Chicago Press, pp. 175–182.


1945 The Great Famine
[source]
Keys, A., et al. (1950), The Biology of Human Starvation. University of Minnesota Press


1946 A School Dropout Makes It Rain
[source]
Schaefer, V. J. (1946), The Production of Ice Crystals in a Cloud of Supercooled Water Droplets. Science 104 (2707), pp. 457–459.


1946 Holidaying in a Draught
[source]
Andrewes, C. H. (1948), Cantor Lecture: The Common Cold. Journal of the Royal Society of Arts 103, pp. 200–210.


1948 Spiders I: Drug-Induced Webs
[source]
Witt, P. N. (1956), Die Wirkung von Substanzen auf den Netzbau der Spinne als biologischer Test. Springer.


1949 The Secretaries’ Deal
[source]
Poundstone, W. (1992), Prisoner’s Dilemma. Doubleday, p. 102.


1949 Orgasms in a Staccato Rhythm
[source]
Klumbies, G., und Kleinsorge, H. (1950), Das Herz im Orgasmus. Medizinische Klinik 45, pp. 952–958.


1950 Be Good-natured – But Not a Sap!
[source]
Flood, M. M. (1952), Some Experimental Games (RM-789), RAND Corporation. In: Poundstone, W. (1992), Prisoner’s Dilemma. Doubleday, p. 108.


1951 Nosediving in the Vomit Comet
[source]
Haber, F., und Haber, H. (1950), Possible Methods of Producing the Gravity-Free State for Medical Research. Journal of Aviation Medicine 21, pp. 395–400.


1951 Twenty Dollars for Doing Nothing
[source]
Bexton, W. H., et al. (1954), Effects of Decreased Variation in the Sensory Environment. Canadian Journal of Psychology 8, pp. 70–76.


1952 Spiders II: Spinning a Web With Amputated Limbs
[source]
Jacobi-Kleemann, M. (1953), Über die Lokomotion der Kreuzspinne Aranea diadema beim Netzbau. Zeitschrift für vergleichende Physiologie 34, pp. 606–654.


1954 Frankenstein for Dogs
[source]
Demikhov, V. P. (1962), Experimental Transplantation of Vital Organs. Consultants Bureau, pp. 162–170.


1955 Spiders 3: Urine in the Web
[source]
Rieder, H. P. (1957), Biologische Toxizitätsbestimmung pathologischer Körperflüssigkeiten. Psychiatria et neurologia 134, pp. 378–396.


1955 The Psychonaut’s Bathtub
[source]
Lilly, J. C. (1956), Mental Effects of Reduction of Ordinary Levels of Physical Stimuli on Intact Healthy Persons. In Research Techniques in Schizophrenia (Psychiatric Research Reports 5) (Gottlieb, J. S. ed.), pp. 1–9, American Psychiatric Association.


1955 The Fog of Terror
[source]
Regis, E. (1999), The Biology of Doom: The History of America’s Secret Germ Warfare Project. Holt, pp. 172–176.


1957 Psychology’s Atom Bomb
[source]
Talese, G. (1958), Most Hidden Persuasion. The New York Times Magazine, 12. Januar, p. 22.


1958 The Mother-Machine
[side note]
In 2002, Pulitzer prizewinner Deborah Blum published a fascinating biography of Harry Harlow: Love at Goon Park: Harry Harlow and the Science of Affection  (Perseus Publishing).
[source]
Harlow, H. F. (1958), The Nature of Love. American Psychologist 13, pp. 573–685.


1959 Fouling Up the Fighter
[source]
Ward, J. E. (1959), Physiologic Response to Subgravity I. Mechanics of Nourishment and Deglutition of Solids and Liquids. Journal of Aviation Medicine 30, pp. 151–154.


1959 The Experiment With the Unabomber
[external link]
The Unabomber Mainfesto: “Industrial Society and Its Future”
[source]
Chase, A. (2003), Harvard and the Unabomber. The education of an American terrorist, W. W. Norton.


1959 A Trinity of Christs
[source]
Rokeach, M. (1964), The Three Christs of Ypsilanti. Alfred A. Knopf.


1961 Obedient to the Last
[side note]
The psychologist Thomas Blass published the first biography on Milgram’s remarkable life: The Man Who Shook the World: The Life and Legacy of Stanley Milgram (2004).
[sources]
Milgram, S. (1974) Obedience to Authority. An Experiment View. Harper & Row.
Milgram, S. (1963) Behavioral Study of Obedience. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology 67 (4), pp. 371–78.


1962 Good Friday on Drugs
[sources]
Doblin, R. (1991) Pahnke’s ‘Good Friday Experiment’: A Long-Term Follow-Up and Methodological Critique. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology 23 (1), pp. 1–28.
Pahnke, W. and Richards, W. (1966) Implications of LSD and Experimental Mysticism. Journal of Religion and Health 5 (3), pp. 175–208.


1962 Cookie-Cutters Provide New Insights
[source]
Gibson, J.J. (1962) Observations on Active Touch. Psychological Review  69 (6), pp. 477–491.


1963 The Lost Letters
[source]
Milgram, S. et al. (1965) The Lost-Letter-Technique: A Tool of Social Research. Public Opinion Quarterly 29, pp. 437–438.


1964 Bullfighting by Remote Control
[source]
Delgado, J. M. R. (1982). ‘Toros Radiodirigidos’ in Los Toros. J. M. De Cossío and A. Díaz-Cañabate. Madrid, Espasa-Calpe. pp. 186–210.


1966 Psychology with Car Horns
[source]
Doob, A.N. und Gross, A.E. (1968) Status of Frustrator as an Inhibitor of Horn-Honking Responses. Journal of Social Psychology 76, pp. 213–218.


1966 Tip for Hitchhikers (1): Get an Injury!
[source]
Bryan, J.H. (1966) Helping and Hitchhiking. Unpublished manuscript.


1967 Six Steps to Knowing Everyone
[source]
Milgram, S. (1967) The Small World Problem. Psychology Today 1 (1), pp. 60–67.


1968 Of Mites and Men
[external link]
The Ig Nobel Prizes are awarded every year by the magazine Annals of Improbable Research for examples of offbeat research.
[source]
Lopez, R. A. (1993) Of Mites and Man. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 203 (5), pp. 606–607.


1968 Eight Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
[source]
Rosenhan, D. (1973) On Being Sane in Insane Places. Science 179, pp. 250–258.


1969 The Vandal in Us All
[external link]
The full text of Kelling and Wilson’s famous article ‘Broken Windows’.
[source]
Zimbardo, P. G. (1969) The Human Choice: Individuation, Reason, and Order versus Deindividuation, Impulse, and Chaos. In: Nebraska Symposium on Motivation 17 (Arnold, W. J., ed.), pp. 237–307, University of Nebraska Press.
 

1969 The Ape in the Mirror
[source]
Gallup, G. (1970) Chimpanzees: Self-Recognition. Science 167 (3914), pp. 86–87.


1969 Colour Tests in the Primeval Forest
[source]
Rosch Heider, E. (1972) Universals in Color Naming and Memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology 93 (1), pp. 10–20.


1970 How Embarrassing!
[source]
Brown, B.R. und Garland, H. (1971) The Effects of Incompetency, Audience Acquaintanceship, and Anticipated Evaluative Feedback on Face-Saving Behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 7, pp. 490–502.


1970 The Bad Samaritans
[source]
Darley, J.M. und Batson, D. (1973) From Jerusalem to Jericho: A Study of Situational and Dispositional Variables in Helping Behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 27, pp. 100–108.


1970 The Dollar Auction
[sources]
Shubik, M. (1971) The Dollar Auction Game: A Paradox in Non-cooperative Behavior and Escalation. Journal of Conflict Resolution 15, pp. 109–111.
Teger, A.I. (1980) Too Much Invested to Quit, Pergamon Press.


1970 Dr. Fox
[source]
Naftulin, D. H., et al. (1973), The Doctor Fox Lecture: a Paradigm of Educational Seduction. Journal of medical education 48 (7), pp. 630–635.


1971 Das Gefängnis des Professors
[external link]
Original materials from the experiment (e.g. the 16 prison rules and the outline of the experiment that was handed to the participants before it began), along with studies on it and reactions to it can be found on the Stanford Prison Experiment website.
[sources]
Haney, C. et al. (1973) Interpersonal Dynamics in a Simulated Prison. International Journal of Criminology & Penology 1 (1), pp. 69–97.
Zimbardo, P.G. (2007). The Lucifer Effect. New York, Random House.


1971 Tip for Hitchhikers (2): Be Female!
 [source]
Clifford, M.M. und Cleary, P. (1971) The Odds on Hitchhiking. Unpublished manuscript.


1971 Galileo on the Moon
[source]
Allen, J. (1972) Apollo 15 Preliminary Science Report/Chapter 2: Summary of Scientific Results (SP-289) NASA, p. 11.


1971 The Atomic Clock Flies Economy
[source]
Hafele, J.C. und Keating, R.E. (1972) Around-the-World Atomic Clocks: Predicted Relativistic Time Gains. Science 177, pp. 166–168.


1972 A Quick Getaway at the Lights
[source]
Ellsworth, P.C. et al. (1972) The Stare as a Stimulus to Flight in Human Subjects: A Series of Field Experiments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 21, pp. 302–311.


1973 The Sex Raft
[source]
Genovés, Santiago (1975) Acali, Planeta.


1973 Trembling Knees Make Hearts Flutter
[source]
Dutton, D.G. und Aron, A.P. (1974) Some Evidence for Heightened Sexual Attraction under Conditions of High Anxiety. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 30, pp. 510–517.


1973: Spiders 4: In Space
[source]
Witt, P.N. et al. (1977) Spider Web-Building in Outer Space: Evaluation of Records from the Skylab Spider Experiment. American Journal of Arachnology 4, pp. 115–124.


1973 Invasion in the Urinal
[source]
Middlemist, R.D. et al. (1976) Personal Space Invasions in the Lavatory: Suggestive Evidence for Arousal. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology 33, pp. 541–546.


1974 In a Froth at the Lights
[source]
Baron, R.A. (1976) The Reduction of Human Aggression: a Field Study of the Influence of Incompatible Reactions. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 6, pp. 260–274.


1974: Tip for Hitchhikers (3): Look Them in the Eyes!
[source]
Snyder, M. et al. (1974) Staring and Compliance: A Field Experiment on Hitchhiking. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 4, pp. 165–170.


1974: Tip for Hitchhikers (4): Be Well-Endowed!
[source]
Morgan, C. et al. (1975) Hitchhiking: Social Signals at a Distance. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 5, pp. 459–461.


1975 Perspiration Extract in the Waiting Room
[source]
Kirk-Smith, M. und Booth, M.A. (1980) Effects of Androstenone on Choice of Location in others Presence. In: Olfaction and Taste VII (ed. Starre, H. van der), pp. 397–400, IRL Press.


1976 The Razor as Teaching Aid
[source]
Klapprott, J. (1976) Barba facit magistrum - Eine Untersuchung über die Wirkung eines bärtigen Hochschullehrers. Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Psychologie 35, pp. 16–27.


1976 A Millionaire Has Himself Cloned
[source]
Rorvik, David M. (1978) In His Image: The Cloning of Man, J.B. Lippincott


1976 The Controversy over Life on Mars
[source]
Ezell, E.C. und Ezell, L.N. (1984) On Mars. Exploration of the Red Planet 1958–1978, The NASA History Series (SP-4212), NASA.


1977 Country and Western Philosophy
[source]
Pennebaker, J.W. (1979) Don’t the Girls Get Prettier at Closing Time: A Country and Western Application to Psychology. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 5, pp. 122–125.


1978 Want to Come to Bed with Me?
[source]
Clark III, R.D. und Hatfield, E. (1989) Gender Differences in Receptivity to Sexual Offers. Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality 2 (1), pp. 39–55.


1979 Free ‘Unwill’
[source]
Libet, B. et al. (1983) Time of Conscious Intention to Act in Relation to Onset of Cerebral Activity (Readiness-Potential). The Unconscious Initiation of a Freely Voluntary Act. Brain 106 (Pt 3), pp. 623–642.


1984 Bigger Tips for Touching
[source]
Crusco, A.H. und Wetzel, C.G. (1984) The Midas Touch: The Effects of Interpersonal Touch on Restaurant Tipping. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin 10 (4), pp. 512–517.


1984 Efficient Chat-up Lines
[source]
Cunningham, M.R. (1989) Reactions to Heterosexual Opening Gambits: Female Selectivity and Male Responsiveness. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 15, pp. 27–41.


1984 The Voluntary Stomach Ulcer
[source]
Marshall, B.J. et al. (1985) Attempt to Fulfil Koch’s Postulates for Pyloric Campylobacter. The Medical Journal of Australia 142 (8), pp. 436–439.


1986 A Year in Bed
[source]
Grigorev, A.I. und Morukov, B.V. (1989) [370-Day Anti-Orthostatic Hypokinesia]. Kosmicheskaia biologiia i aviakosmicheskaia meditsina 23 (5), pp. 47–50.


1992 Doing it in an MRI Scanner
[side note]
The Ig-Nobel Prize is awarded for examples of bizarre research. Here is the list of past laureates.
[source]
Schultz, W.W. et al. (1999) Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Male and Female Genitals During Coitus and Female Sexual Arousal. British Medical Journal 319, pp. 1596–1600.


1994 Fair-Weather Waiter
[source]
Rind, B. (1996) Effects of Beliefs About Weather Conditions on Tipping. Journal of Applied Social Psychology 26 (2), pp. 137–147.


1995 The Minimum Distance for Striptease Artistes
[source]
Linz, D. et al. (2000) Testing Legal Assumptions Regarding the Effects of Dancer Nudity and Proximity to Patron on Erotic Expression. Law and Human Behavior 24 (5), pp. 507–533.


1997 Pubic Hairs Go Walkabout
 [source]
Exline, D.L. et al. (1998) Frequency of Pubic Hair Transfer During Sexual Intercourse. Journal of Forensic Sciences 43 (3), pp. 505–508.


1998 The Loudspeakers of Jericho
[source]
Wyle Laboratories (1998) Wyle Completes Unique Tests in Investigation of Biblical Mysteries for Television Program, press release.


1999 Unaccountably Hungry
[source]
Rolls, B.J. et al. (1999) Water Incorporated into a Food but not Served with a Food Decreases Energy Intake in Lean Women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 70, pp. 448–455.


2002 The Mathematics of Stick-throwing
[source]
Pennings, T.J. (2003) Do Dogs Know Calculus. College Mathematics Journal 34 (3), pp. 178–182.


2003 Close Encounters With a Dogbot
[source]
Kubinyi, E. et al. (2004) Social Behaviour of Dogs Encoutering AIBO, an Animal-Like Robot in a Neutral and in a Feeding Situation. Behavioural Processes 65, pp. 231–239.