To put it in the illustrious words of Bill Nye, “science rules.” But sometimes scientists are so eager to prove their hypothesis that they go a little crazy with their methods. Just bear in mind as you read this that many of the scientists on this list didn’t have to submit their research plans to any sort of ethics committee for review before proceeding, so it’s pretty unlikely you’d find any mad scientists like these roaming the halls of research buildings and university campuses today.
**Warning: Some of these “experiments” are pretty gruesome**
12. Paracelsus (1493 – 1541)
Paracelsus was a 16th-century, Swiss-German scientist who made a number of advancements in the fields of biology, chemistry and medicine. Many professionals accept him as the founder of toxicology for correctly concluding that toxic substances, in small doeses, could be used beneficially. But even though his mind for medicine was centuries ahead of its time, he was still a bit of an occultist and performed his fair share of bizarre personal experiments.
In 1537, Paracelsus wrote a treatise addressed to his brother where he described some of the alchemical secrets he had acquired over the years. Of particular note was his recipe for making a homunculus (a small humanoid created through alchemy). According to Paracelsus’ instructions, first you take some sperm and let it decay in a pile of horse manure for about 40 days. By that point, the sperm should come to life and begin resembling a tiny transparent human without a fully-formed body. Then, all you need to do is keep it in horse manure and feed it human blood every day. After 40 weeks of blood meals, you should have yourself a genuine homunculus.