Museum of Hoaxes
"Very well-researched and delivered in an engaging, breezy, wink-wink tone similar to that of Mark Leyner and Billy Goldberg's Why Do Men Have Nipples?, this will likely be enjoyed equally by science buffs and casual aficionados of the curious. One of the finest science/history bathroom books of all time."
-Kirkus Reviews

Web Hoax Museum


#5: The Isolated Head of a Dog
imageWhat could be more horrific than creating a two-headed dog? What about keeping the severed head of a dog alive apart from its body!

Ever since the carnage of the French Revolution, when the guillotine sent thousands of severed heads tumbling into baskets, scientists had wondered whether it would be possible to keep a head alive apart from its body, but it wasn't until the late 1920s that someone managed to pull off this feat.

Soviet physician Sergei Brukhonenko developed a primitive heart-lung machine he called an "autojector," and with this device he succeeded in keeping the severed head of a dog alive. He displayed one of his living dog heads in 1928 before an international audience of scientists at the Third Congress of Physiologists of the USSR. To prove that the head lying on the table really was alive, he showed that it reacted to stimuli. Brukhonenko banged a hammer on the table, and the head flinched. He shone light in its eyes, and the eyes blinked. He even fed the head a piece of cheese, which promptly popped out the esophageal tube on the other end.

Brukhonenko's severed dog head became the talk of Europe and inspired the playwright George Bernard Shaw to muse, "I am even tempted to have my own head cut off so that I can continue to dictate plays and books without being bothered by illness, without having to dress and undress, without having to eat, without having anything else to do other than to produce masterpieces of dramatic art and literature."

[On YouTube: See Experiments in the revival of organisms.]

Listed in chronological order. Newest comments at the end.
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Actually, Beatrix, it was clearly stated in the video that the head could only last a short while in its state, and blood does carry oxygen for a short while. This means that A.) it is very possible to keep a severed head alive, if only for a very brief period of time, and B.) during the short time the oxygen gets into the brain, it's possible that the dog could move its tongue.
While this video is possibly fake, the concept they're illustrating is very possible.
Say, for example, there's a life support system built that replicates both the respiratory and the circulatory systems that is designed to hook up to a cleanly severed head to keep it alive.... Wait a minute... isn't that exactly what they did in the video? I only skipped to the severed head part.
Posted by Chronus  on  Wed Apr 02, 2008  at  10:54 PM
Could you at least keep the head for a couple days without it stinking?
Posted by Cashflow420  in  San Francisco  on  Mon Jul 14, 2008  at  12:52 AM
This is sick...
If it was don't today with a dog head, all the animal organizations in the world was coming after the scientist...
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