Top 20 Most Bizarre Experiments

I've posted a list of the Top 20 Most Bizarre Experiments of All Time. The descriptions are all summarized from longer accounts that can be found in my new book, Elephants on Acid. Basically, although the list can stand on its own, it's meant to be one big ad for the book. My hope is that people might be intrigued enough by what they read in the list to want to find out what else can be found in the book. (They'll either be intrigued or horrified. When people hear about some of these experiments those are the two most typical reactions.) There's definitely plenty more material in the book.

My publisher tells me that the book should start shipping in early October, about a month ahead of schedule.


Posted on Wed Aug 29, 2007


Yay, I can't wait! 😊
Posted by Nettie  on  Wed Aug 29, 2007  at  06:17 PM
What Nettie said! 😊
Posted by Smerk  on  Thu Aug 30, 2007  at  06:07 AM
What Smerk said! :lol:

(Great list - was planning on buying the book anyway, not least out of loyalty, but now I'm really, really keen to do so. You like some weird shit, though, Alex...)
Posted by outeast  on  Thu Aug 30, 2007  at  06:21 AM
Okay, two things I just learnt - if a man in white coat holding a clipboard asks someone to do something as part of an experment, most people would do almost absolutely anything asked of them, no matter how repulsive (and therefore that's the outfit I shall be wearing on my next date)

and scientists seemed to be unhealthily fascinated with doing things with animal heads.

That bit about people being pre-programmed to pick up a piece of paper - if I saw a piece of paper lying in the middle of the floor, I'd pick it up. I'd always put this down to normal human curiosity. Or have I been brainwashed, and never knew? Am I, in fact, a CIA assassin?
Posted by Nona  on  Thu Aug 30, 2007  at  08:17 AM
Err..mission failed, in my case. I was really excited for this book, because I thought things like the Milgrim Experiment and the Standford Prison Experiment were interesting.

But I started reading that page and now I don't think I want to buy the book anymore. What I read was too upsetting. =\
Posted by Sakano  on  Thu Aug 30, 2007  at  05:07 PM
I actually intended for some of it to be shocking. After all, two-headed dogs, etc. are pretty disturbing.

What I find interesting is the different ways in which people react to it. Some people are really intrigued to discover that all this stuff happened because, at the very least, it shows how dramatically codes of ethics have changed in science. It makes you think about what should and should not be acceptable.

Other people simply don't want to know about it.

Well, you can't please everyone.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Fri Aug 31, 2007  at  06:37 PM
Yeah, it's not your fault or anything. I'm actually happy you posted it because that book would have depressed me too much. The elephant experiment horrified me and I started crying after I read about the isolated dog head. It took me a while to calm down, so at that point I said to myself "maybe this isn't the book for me."

I did buy your last book though! And I'll probably buy your next one if it's not too disturbing. 😉
Posted by Sakano  on  Fri Aug 31, 2007  at  06:46 PM
Disturbed me too much. Not that i would read the book either way.
Posted by J the haiku master  on  Sat Sep 01, 2007  at  02:28 AM
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.