10 Most Evil Human Experiments In History


Human experiments and research have been done by scientists, doctors, and researchers from time to time for decades. The subjects of the human experiments have been prisoners, slaves, or even family members for the sake of new discoveries. On some remarkable occasions, doctors have also performed experiments on themselves when they were unwilling to risk the lives of others. Self-experimentation like that is not as evil as human experiments on other people because it is more ethical and merciful. Below is a list of 10 evil human experiments throughout history, share your thoughts on which you think is the most evil.

1Aversion Project

image: COVE

Back in the 1970s and the 1980s, South Africa’s apartheid army forced white lesbian and gay soldiers to undergo sex-change operations. The soldiers went through chemical castration, electric shock, and other unethical medical experiments at military hospitals as part of a top-secret program. The purpose was to root out homosexuality from the service, and there were as many as 900 operations performed.

Psychiatrists heavily supported the idea that homosexuals were mentally ill, and they also supported the experiments as well. During the shock therapy treatment, electrodes were strapped to the upper arms with wires then run through a dial calibrated from 1 to 10. As for homosexual soldiers, they were shown black-and-white pictures of a naked man with encouragement to fantasize.

The person in charge would administer a shock if the soldiers showed any form of sexual response. Then they showed a colored picture of a woman to the soldiers with the expectation of stimulating arousal, but this failed. As a result of these failures, there is also evidence that sexual realignment procedures took place on incurable individuals.


By the 1970s, the field of mental health no longer supported the therapy for homosexual soldiers and the treatment was left behind. Then, there was a post-project that the staff came up with as an alternative to the failed treatment. When treatments would not work, they put patients through a sex change operation which involved surgery and a new identity given.

The patients then would be discharged from the military, and advised to cut themselves off from the military and friends. There were around 900 homosexuals from 16 to 24 years old who had been drafted and were turned into women. The people also gave birth certificates to the soldiers to fit their modified anatomy. Many patients died during surgery, and many others committed suicide due to depression and difficulties after the surgery.

2Monster Study

In 1939, Wendell Johnson conducted a stuttering experiment performed on 22 orphan children at an orphanage in Davenport, Iowa. Dr. Wendell was a speech pathologist who wanted to get to the bottom of the underlying cause of stuttering. He didn’t subscribe to the prevailing belief that stuttering was an inborn trait, so he wanted to help.

Johnson split the 22 kids into two groups: stutterers and non-stutterers, but not all the kids in the stuttering group actually had stutters. The non-stutters received praise for their normal speech patterns while the stuttering group received negative reinforcement. Also, they were constantly put on edge through reminders to avoid stuttering; and things started to get down.

Five of the six kids who didn’t have stutters in the stuttering group began stuttering after the negative therapy. Three of the five kids who actually had stutters were worse than before because negative focus makes it worse. In comparison, he labeled only one kid in the group as normal because he had greater speech problems after the study.

The researchers then realized the power of their experiment and tried to undo the damage they had done, but to no avail. The effects of labeling the children stutterers were permanent, and those poor orphans had to cope with a stutter for the rest of their lives. The researchers also hid their theory because they were afraid that their experiment would link to Nazi human experiments. The University of Iowas publicly apologized for the Monster Study in 2001.

3Nazi Experiments

During World War II, a number of German physicians conducted ruthless and deadly experiments on thousands of prisoners. Nazi Experiments was the name of the experimentation, and it involved a large number of prisoners including children. Normally, experiments need permission from volunteers to participate.

As for this experiment, Nazi physicians and their assistants forced prisoners against their will. The experiments resulted in death, trauma, disfigurement, permanent disability, and more. There is a long list of tortures that the physicians did to the prisoners, we will describe some for you.

Blood Coagulation Experiments

Blood Coagulation Experiments were the idea of Sigmund Rascher who experimented with the effects of Polygal. It was a substance made from beet and apple pectin which aided blood clotting. He predicted that the prevention of Polygal tablets would reduce bleeding from gunshot wounds sustained during combat or during surgery. Sigmund gave a Polygal tablet to the subjects before he shot them through the neck or chest. He also amputated their limbs without anesthesia with belief that his tablets would work, they never did.

There were many cruel experiments that the scientists and doctors did during the Nazi Experiment, and it killed many people. The thing is their experiments produced no useful results but countless deaths and scars in innocent people’s lives.

Drugs & Treatments Experiments

Drugs & Treatments Experiments were to develop and test drugs as well as treatment methods for injuries and illness from the field. At the camp, the scientists used camp inmates to test immunization compounds and antibodies for the prevention and treatment of contagious diseases. Those diseases include malaria, typhus, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, yellow fever, and infectious hepatitis. The treatment involved the prisoners exposed to phosgene and mustard gas in order to test possible antidotes. Looks like the experiments did not find anything helpful to cure the diseases at all.

Racial & Ideological Goals Experiments

Racial & Ideological Goals Experiments were the third category of medical experimentation that sought to advance racial and ideological tenets of the Nazi worldview. The most infamous were the experiments of Josef Mengele on twins of all ages as well as Roma (gypsies) at Auschwitz. Those scientists tested many methods in an effort to develop an efficient and inexpensive procedure for the mass sterilization of Jews, Roma, etc.

Their experiments ranged from the injection of different dyes into the eyes of twins to sewing the twins together. The injection of dye was to see whether it would change their color while the sewing was to create conjoined twins. Most of the time, one twin would undergo experimentation first while the other was a control. If that twin died during the experimentation, the second would be killed at the same time. The doctors then looked at the effects of the experimentation and compare both bodies.

Survival Experiment

The survival Experiment is to determine the maximum altitude from which crews of damaged aircraft could parachute to safety. So they conducted high altitude experiments on prisoners, and that resulted in death every single time if not serious injuries. Those scientists also carried out the so-called freezing experiments on prisoners to find an effective treatment for hypothermia. Another experiment was to test various methods of making seawater drinkable using prisoners.

4North Korean Experimentation

Some North Korean defectors and former prisoners raised this issue and described what the government did during human experimentation in World War II. The tortures included the suffocation of prisoners in gas chambers, testing deadly chemical weapons, and surgery without anesthesia. A former prison Head of Security at Camp 22, Kwon Hyok, described laboratories equipped with poison gas, suffocation gas, and blood experiments.

Normally, a family of 3 or 4 people was the experimental subject of this kind of act. Those people have to undergo medical checks before they went into the sealed chambers injected with poison. When that happened, the scientists observe them from above through glass. Kwon Hyok claimed to have watched one family of 2 parents, a son, and a daughter died from suffocating gas. The parents were trying to save the children using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for as long as they had the strength.

One former North Korean woman prisoner tells how 50 healthy women prisoners were selected and given poisoned cabbage leaves. They had to eat those leaves despite the cries of distress from those who had already eaten. All 50 of them were dead after 20 minutes of vomiting blood and anal bleeding. Also, refusing to eat would have meant reprisals against them and their families.

Then there were young doctors who practiced surgery on prisoners without using anesthesia. Some doctors even studied physical resistance by starving the prisoners to death. On top of that, the people who carry out the so-called experiments sometimes hit the prisoners with a hammer on their heads. The prisoners then lost their memory, and the scientists used them as zombies for target practice. North Korea has always been a cruel and ruthless country, such human experiments are only a small part of their acts.

5Project 4.1

There is actually footage of the project that lasts about 90 minutes that you can find on the internet. Project 4.1 was a designation for a medical study of residents of the Marshall Islands after the radioactive fallout. Between 1946 and 1958, the United States tested 67 nuclear weapons above ground on and near Bikini and Ene Wetak atolls. One hydrogen bomb was 1000 times larger than the Hiroshima bomb, and it vaporized and filled the entire islands with the fallout.

The film showed heavily exposed people who were then enrolled as human subjects in the top-secret Project 4.1. Those who conducted the experiment evacuated the people to a severely contaminated island to study the effect of eating radioactive food. For nearly 30 years. As a result, many of the Marshall Islanders developed cancers and had babies that were stillborn or with serious birth defects.

Nuclear Savage uncovered this act because the US considered the Marshall Islanders as human guinea pigs for their study. The film also raises disturbing questions about racism and the US government’s moral obligation to the people of the Marshall Islands.

6Project MKULTRA

Also known as MK-Ultra, Project MKULTRA is a top-secret CIA project that involved experiments on human subjects, which was illegal. The purpose of the experiment was to identify and develop drugs as well as procedures to use in interrogations. They want to weaken the individual and force confessions through mind control, and they engaged in many illegal activities.

MK-Ultra used numerous methods to manipulate people’s mental states and alter their brain functions. That includes the surreptitious administration of drugs and other chemicals, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, verbal and sexual abuse, and other tortures. The subjects were CIA employees, military personnel, doctors, government agents, prostitutes, mentally ill patients, members of the general public, and even children. All of the subjects have gone through the use of LSD which was a lethal and illegal drug.

The project began in the early 1950s, and continued at least through the late 1960s with various ruthless strategies. In 1973, CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MK-Ultra files destroyed which makes a full investigation of MK-Ultra impossible.

7Soviets Poison Laboratory

The Kamera (the cell or the chamber) was one of the laboratories where the Soviet secret police invented exotic poisons. That is not a doubt why KGB (Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti) used assassination, often by poison to silence political dissidents. In the Kamera, the Soviets tested a number of deadly poisons on prisoners from the Gulag (enemies). The poisons were mustard gas, ricin, digitoxin, and many others.

The goal of the experiment was to find a tasteless and odorless chemical that could not be detected in an autopsy. The researchers gave meal or drink to the victims, and the results were somehow scary. According to witness testimonies, the victim changed physically, became shorter, weakened quickly, became calm and silent, and died within fifteen minutes. The people to test were those with various physical conditions and ages in order to have a more complete picture of the effects. There were many deaths due to these human experiments, and those people died miserably.

8Stanford Prison Experiment

Phillip Zimbardo from Stanford University conducted an experiment as a landmark psychological study of human response to captivity in 1971. The experiment was an attempt to investigate the psychological effects of perceived power focusing on the struggle between prisoners and prison officers. There were volunteers that played the roles of either guards or prisoners in the mock prison in the university’s basement.

The volunteers rapidly adapted to their roles, stepping beyond the boundaries of what Zimbardo who was serving as the superintendent expected. Those students embraced their roles too seriously to the point there were dangerous and psychologically damaging situations. Some guards have exhibited genuine sadistic tendencies by torturing the so-called prisoners which made the experiment abandoned after 6 days.

Many prisoners passively accepted psychological abuse and, by the officers’ request, actively harassed other prisoners who tried to stop it. A number of prisoners were emotionally traumatized and two of them had to be removed from the experiment early. Stanford Prison Experiment was supposed to last two weeks but ended abruptly just in six days. That was because of a string of mental breakdowns, an outbreak of sadism, and a hunger strike.

9The Tuskegee Syphilis Study

This was an infamous, unethical, and malicious clinical study conducted between 1932 and 1972 by the US Public Health Service. The purpose was to observe the natural progression of untreated syphilis in rural African-American men in Alabama. The study was to understand the disease’s natural history throughout time and to determine the proper treatment dosage for specific people.

The study became notorious because it had no care for its subjects, and it led to major changes in the protection of patients. When the study began in 1932, standard treatments for syphilis were toxic and dangerous, and their effectiveness was questionable. Actually, part of the original goal of the study was to determine if patients were better off without treatment. They even lied to many patients and gave them placebo treatments in order to observe the fatal progression of the disease.

By the end of the study, only 74 out of 622 of the test subjects were still alive. Twenty-eight of the men had died directly of syphilis, and 100 were dead of related complications. Moreover, 40 of their wives had been infected, and 19 of their children had been born with congenital syphilis. The last participant died in January 2004, and the last widow receiving THBP benefits died in January 2009. As for the 12 offspring, they are currently receiving medical and health benefits.

10Unit 731

Back in the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II, Imperial Japanese Army undertook lethal human experimentation called Unit 731. It was a gruesome biological and chemical warfare research and development unit that was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes. The experiments of Unit 731 included Frostbite Testing, Vivisection of Conscious Prisoners, Weapon Tests, Syphilis Experiments, Rape and Forced Pregnancy, and Germ Warfare.

Frostbite Testing

Frostbite Testing was the idea of Yoshimura Hisato who was a physiologist who took a special interest in hypothermia. As part of Maruta’s study in limb injuries, Hisato routinely submerged prisoners’ limbs in a tub of water filled with ice. The prisoners had to stay until their arms or legs had frozen solid with a coat of ice forming over the skin. The limbs made a sound like a plank of wood when struck with a cane, according to one eyewitness.
Hisato then tried different methods for rapid rewarming of the frozen appendage.

Sometimes he doused the limb with hot water, sometimes he held it close to open fire. While some other times, he left the subject untreated overnight to see how long it took for the person’s blood to thaw out.

Germ Warfare

Germ Warfare was a huge part in killing so many lives during the time of Unit 731. The thing is that the main purpose of Unit 731 was to develop horrific weapons of mass destruction. The use was against the Chinese population as well as American and Soviet forces. To breed the most lethal strains possible, doctors monitored patients for rapid onset of symptoms and quick progression. Prisoners who pulled through were shot, and those who got sick fast were bled to death on a mortuary table. Then the people used their blood to transfect other prisoners, and the people took every single drop of their blood.

On the 4th of October, 1940, Japanese bombers deployed clay bomb casings loaded with 30,000 fleas over a Chinese village. Those fleas had sucked blood from a dying prisoner, and the fleas were everywhere all over the town. That was when screams of pain began followed by a rash of painful flea bites that afflicted nearly everyone.

After the Hiroshima and Nagasaki tragedy in August 1945, the Soviet Army invaded Manchuria and annihilated the Japanese Army. That was when the emperor read his infamous surrender declaration over the radio. That was also when Unit 731 was officially disbanded.

To this day, Japan has not apologized and China has not forgiven for what happened between 1931 and 1945. As the last witnesses to this history grew old and died, it is possible that this matter should be forgotten for good.

Rape & Forced Pregnancy

Female prisoners of childbearing age were sometimes the victims of rape and impregnation so that the people can do weapon and trauma experiments on them. After the women were infected with various diseases, exposed to chemical weapons, or suffered crush injuries, they had to suffer more. Then the doctors opened up the subjects and studied the effects on the fetuses inside the women.

Syphilis Experiments

To learn what they needed to know, doctors assigned to Unit 731 infected prisoners with the disease. Also, they ordered the male prisoners to rape both female and male prisoners to ensure the effective transmission of the disease. If the first exposure failed to establish infection, then there would be more rapes until it did.

Vivisection of Conscious Prisoners

Vivisection of Conscious Prisoners started out as a research unit that investigate the effects of disease and injury on the armed force’s fighting ability. One element of the unit called Maruta took the research a little too far by observing injuries and the course of disease in living patients. At first, the patients were volunteers from the ranks of the army, then the unit turned to other targets. The unit studied Chinese POWs and civilian prisoners instead because the experiments reached the limits of what could be non-invasively observed.

Vivisection was the practice of mutilating human bodies without anesthesia to study the operations of living systems. Back then, there were thousands of men and women infected with diseases such as cholera and plague. Most of them were Chinese communist prisoners, and they had their organs removed for examination before they died. Subjects had limbs amputated and reattached to the other side of the body which was similar to the movie Human Centipede. The others had their limbs crushed or frozen, or had the circulation cut off to observe the progress of gangrene. When the so-called scientists no longer need their bodies, they shot or injected lethal into the victims. None of the Chinese, Mongolian, Korean, or Russian prisoners in Unit 731 survived their horrible human experiments.

Weapon Tests

Weapon Tests are one of the actions that killed a lot of prisoners in Unit 731. The effectiveness of various weapons was of obvious interest to the Japanese Army during that time. To determine the effectiveness of the weapons, the army herded the prisoners together on a firing range. Then a rain of multiple weapons such as the Nambu 8mm pistol, bolt-action rifles, machine guns, and grenades poured on them. Then they compared the wound patterns and penetration depths on the bodies of the dead and dying inmates.

Things also went the same with bayonets, swords, and knives with the prisoners as the subjects to the test. The most cruel part was the flamethrowers, they tested on both covered and exposed skin. When we come to think of it, that was a very cruel thing to ever do to people. At least things like that are not happening now which is a good thing.

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