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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Vote for the "Weirdest Science Experiment"

Reto Schneider is the author of The Mad Science Book, in which he describes 100 of the most unusual science experiments conducted over the past 700 years. Now, he's holding a public vote to find the weirdest experiment ever. Read summaries of the top 10 finalists and then vote for your favorite.
In one 1959 experiment, American psychologist Milton Rokeach brought three men who all thought they were Jesus to the State Psychiatric Clinic at Ypsilanti near Detroit, where they lived together for two years. Rokeach thought that if they met each other and lived together, they'd be cured (they weren't).
In another experiment, this one on Good Friday in 1962, researcher Walter Pahnke gave mind-altering drugs to 10 seminary students before a church service; many of the test subjects became priests and, even 25 years later, described the service as one of the most mystical spiritual experiences of their lives. And in 1984, pathologist Frederick Zugibe built a cross and hung volunteers from it in order to find out how Jesus died.
"Right now three men think they are Jesus: what happens when they meet is leading," Schneider tells us, "followed by diagnosing schizophrenics with spider webs and brilliantly saying nothing. In fourth place is forensic scientist Nicolas Minovici, who hung himself 12 times." —Heather Wax