In the Name of Science

Throughout the years, there have been many times when scientists have gone the extra mile in order to make the next epic discovery.

Some scientists have gone to a new extreme, doing some crazy things and even putting their own safety in danger for the sake of research.

Here are five barmy experiments, all done in the name of science:

Living in a cave for a month

In 1938, sleep researcher Nathaniel Kleitman moved into a cave 120 feet below ground in order to study human sleep patterns. He and his assistant lived there for a month in an attempt to discover whether people could adapt to a 28-hour day.

The cave was the ideal place to test this out, as there were never any changes in the light or the temperature. However, it was extremely uncomfortable, claustrophobic and swarming with rats. His assistant did manage to adapt, but Kleitman unfortunately could not, disproving his own theory.

Travelling faster than a bullet

John Paul Stapp was a flight surgeon during World War II, and wanted to investigate the effects of extreme speeds on the human body. In 1954, he rode a rocket-powered sled, which travelled faster than a bullet, and observed what happened to him afterwards.

His experiments were hugely important for later improvements in transport safety, and his research influenced the training given to astronauts.

60 years of knuckle cracking

Ever been told that cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis? Scientist Dr. Donald Unger decided to find out once and for all whether this was fact or fiction.

For 60 years, he cracked the knuckles of his left hand every day, but never cracked the knuckles of his right. In the end, he found that all that cracking had no effect on the state of his joints.

Getting 120 bee stings

Michael Smith, a student of bee behaviour, conducted an experiment to see where the most painful place to be stung by a bee was.

The experiment involved pricking himself with bee stings 120 times all over his body and recording the pain levels. The sorest spot? Right inside the nostril. Ouch.

Living underwater for 31 days

Rather than making the occasional subaquatic trip to conduct his research, scientist Fabien Cousteau spent 31 days living in a laboratory under the sea.

In the time they spent 64 feet below sea level, he and his team studied the effects that humans had on ocean life. They gathered enough research to fill ten new research papers!