The 7 Most Terrifying Experiments Ever Conducted

For the record, the writers at All That Is Interesting are not anti-science. For every person that (legal, properly-sanctioned and monitored) scientific research hurts, hundreds are saved from pain and disease. But, sometimes, a scientific experiment is so obscenely brutal that you have to wonder if it was really worth it. Here are some of the most terrifying, manipulative experiments ever conducted in the name of science:

The Milgram Obedience Experiments

Milgram experiment actor is strapped into shock device

An actor is connected to a device that delivers “electric shocks”. Source: American Psychological Association

Are you truly an independent thinker? Do you consider yourself to be an iconoclast, living by your own standards as opposed to being guided by the signals and expectations of others? Don’t be so sure. The Milgram Obedience Experiment basically showed how much we listen to people if they’re wearing a white coat.
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Your Body Under The Microscope

Scar Tissue

Scar tissue. Source: Scar Formula

When Dutch spectacle-maker Zacharias Janssen invented the microscope at the end of the 16th century, he had no idea that he was opening the door to a brand new, tiny–and yet seemingly infinite–world. Since then we have been able to study this microcosm that has provided us with insight into virtually every scientific field ever devised: physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, and a host of others.

Over the centuries the technology behind microscopes has improved to an almost unimaginable degree. We were once able to see objects almost invisible to the naked eye, while now the most powerful microscopes can show us nano-objects a billionth of an inch in size. Even our own bodies become realms of fantastically intricate wonder when viewed through a microscopic lens.

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Liver Cell

Microscope Bodies Liver

Although this might look like a child’s painting, it is actually a colored micrograph scan of a liver cell.The liver cell (hepatocyte) is very complex and contains different elements with specialized roles. Source: Discover Magazine

Red Blood Cells

Microscope Bodies Red Blood Cell

These little guys might look like candy or cereal, but they’re actually red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes. They make up most of your blood and carry oxygen throughout your body. Source: Tumblr



As you might know, your body is covered in bacteria. Although most bacteria is harmless to humans, that doesn’t make the idea any more pleasant. Here is an up-close image of the bacteria lounging around on your tongue right now. Source: The Telegraph

Epithelial Cells


Epithelial cells are among the four basic types of cells that form animal tissue along with nervous, muscle and connective tissue. They usually line the surfaces and cavities of most body structures (in this case, the mouth). Source: Wikimedia

Fallopian Tube


The end of a Fallopian tube, which is found in all female mammals. Source: The Telegraph



his image shows a human cell in the process of mitosis or cell reproduction. The chromosomes start pairing up and grouping into two different nuclei. Source: UH

Clotted Red Blood Cells

Microscope Bodies Red Dry

Here are those same red blood cells after they have clotted and dried on a piece of gauze wound dressing. Source: National Geographic

Stem Cells


A microscope image of human stem cells. These are pluripotent stem cells, meaning that they can become every other type of cell. Source: Society For Science

The Human Tongue

Tongue Cells

This is a human tongue under a microscope, and each one of those pointy things is a taste bud. A human tongue can have anywhere between 2,000 and 8,000 taste buds. Sorry to ruin the fun, but while we’re on the subject, it’s a myth that the tongue is split into regions where each one is responsible for a particular taste. In fact, each part is capable of detecting all five known elements: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami. Source: Reddit

The Inner Ear

Microscope Bodies Ear

You can call these stones or crystals, if you like, but you’ll never guess where they come from: your inner ear. About a thousand of these ear rocks are located in the utricle, which is itself part of the vestibular system of your inner ear. They are mainly responsible for your sensation of up and down and, thus, essential to your sense of balance. Source: Pharmacypedia

Brain Cells

Brain Cells

That jumbled mess represents all of your collective knowledge and memories. It is a microscopic look at your brain cells in action. Source: Discover Magazine

Microscope Bodies Lash

An eyelash up-close. Being hair, eyelashes should strictly be a mammalian trait, but other animals didn’t get the memo. Many species of hornbills have lashes made out of feathers. Source: Viral Nova


Microscope Bodies Scab

Source: Ebaum's World

The Eye

Microscope Bodies Eye

If you ever thought the human eye was beautiful, you might want to reconsider. Source: Bored Panda

Fingerprint Ridge

Microscope Bodies Fingerprint

These are the ridges on a finger that form fingerprints. Other primates also have unique fingerprints like we do and, bizarrely, so do koalas. In fact, koala fingerprints are so similar to ours that it takes an expert using an electron microscope to tell the difference. Source: Ebaum's World

Split Ends

Microscope Bodies Split End

The start to a bad hair day – the split end of a human hair. Our hair is primarily made out of a protein called keratin, which is also a key component in our skin and nails. In other animals, keratin is also responsible for hooves, scales, claws and horns. Source: Viral Nova

White Blood Cell

White Blood Cell

White blood cells or leukocytes only make up around one percent of your total volume of blood. However, they represent your frontline infantry in the war against all foreign invaders, which makes them essential to your good health. In fact, low white cell counts are often indicative of disease. Source: Pop Science

Fat Cells

Microscope Bodies Fat

Here we see fat cells under a microscope. They are among the largest cells in our bodies (as many of us are painfully aware). The red stuff we see is lipids stored within the membrane of each individual cell, ready for use when needed. Source: University Of California, San Francisco

Lung Cells

Microscope Bodies Lung

In this image of lung cells, the blue centers are nuclei and they are surrounded by yellow mitochondria, organelles that do most of the heavy lifting in many eukaryotic cells. Source: Buzzfeed

Skin Cells

Microscope Bodies Skin Cell

As we already know, cells make up every living thing. Here we see a basic eukaryotic (nucleus bound by membrane) cell – a human skin cell. Presuming you are an average-sized human, you have about 1.6 trillion skin cells right now, but you will lose about a million of them by the end of the day. No worries, though. They are constantly being replaced with new cells. Source: Pix Good


Microscope Bodies Sperm

No prizes for guessing what these little swimmers are. Source: Pix Shark


Tooth Cell

This tooth cross section shows a nerve surrounded by dental pulp. The nerves and blood vessels in your teeth are protected by four different tissue layers: pulp, cementum, dentin and enamel. Source: National Geographic

Skin Blister

Blister Cells

Here is what happens when you stay out in the sun too long – a skin blister. Source: Ebaum's World

Dendritic Cells

Dendritic Cells

Dendritic cells are part of your immune system. They are found in all tissues that come into contact with elements from the outside world – mostly skin, but also the inner linings of the stomach, nose and lungs. Source: Pix Shark

Egg Cell

This is a human egg resting on a pinhead. The honeycomb shape of the outside layer (called zona pellucida) is meant to bind spermatozoa. Source: CDIN

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31 Fantastic Photos from NASA’s Glory Days

NASA Glory Days Ed White

Ed White floats out of the Gemini IV capsule during the first U.S. spacewalk in 1965. Source: NASA

The Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957. For United States leaders, it was one of the chilliest moments of the Cold War as the Soviets had shown technical capabilities far more advanced than their own and expanded the “battlefield” not just to the sky, but outer space.

A year after the Sputnik launch, President Dwight Eisenhower and the U.S. Congress created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in an effort to catch up – and hopefully pass – their Soviet rivals in the so-called “Space Race.” In the following years, NASA launched a sequence of programs – Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo – that would systematically check off all the steps needed to explore space. Mercury focused on getting a man into orbit. Gemini put two-men teams into space to perform spacewalks, separate sections of spacecraft, and safely link them together again. Apollo headed to the moon, and our world would change.

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