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These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Fact Republic]

Sabin Arnold von Sochocky

  • Year of Death: 1928
  • Experiment: Working With Radium-Based Luminescent Paint
  • Cause of Death: Long-Term Exposure To Radium

Sabin Arnold von Sochocky was a chemist and inventor who invented the very first radium-based luminescent paint. Of course, his invention came before the world really understood radium and its incredible radioactivity. His invention allowed the paint to truly stand out due to the glowing nature the radium produced. This paint might not be used inside a home, but it could be used on streets or potentially by the military.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via GrAl/Shutterstock.com]
The potential for the luminescent paint was endless, naturally. Yet the work Sabin would do with this paint was always going to put it on the killer science experiments list. He worked with it often, as many inventors would in his case. Yet this meant that he’d be exposed to heavy amounts of radioactivity each time. Human beings are only able to handle specific amounts of radiation in one lifetime. Sabin sadly developed aplastic anemia from his radium exposure and died in his mid-40s in 1928.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via 17QQ.com]

Haroutune (Harry) K. Daghlian, Jr.

  • Year of Death: 1945
  • Experiment: The Manhattan Project
  • Cause of Death: Radiation Poisoning

The Manhattan Project is now infamous, but it took decades before the United States Government ever officially recognized it as something that actually happened. The project involved the research and development of nuclear weapons. Albert Einstein and many other influential scientists from around the world were part of it in some form or another. This included a physicist named Haroutune K. Daghlian, Jr. He actually became an expert in the then-newer field of particle physics. This was why he was part of the Manhattan Project at all. Yet he joins our list of killer science experiments in August of 1945.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Twitter – @RealTimeWWII]
On this day, the team was working at the remote Omega Site facility at the Los Almos National Laboratory in New Mexico. During a critical mass experiment, Daghlian accidentally dropped a tungsten carbide brick onto a plutonium bomb core. Naturally, this was not good. This accident resulted in a critical reaction, but Harry did try to knock the brick away. He was not successful, so he decided to remove the bricks by hand to halt the reaction. Harry managed to stop it, but in the process, he was exposed to a monstrous amount of radiation. He died less than a month later from radiation poisoning.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Britannica]

Francis Edgar Stanley

  • Year of Death: 1918
  • Experiment: Test Driving His Automobile
  • Cause of Death: Automobile Crash

Francis Edgar Stanley invented the Stanley Steamer Automobile. He and his twin brother founded the Stanley Motor Carriage Company, which is “officially” credited with inventing the automobile. Francis actually patented the first photographic airbrush, which he used to colorize photos. He also invented a device for coating dry plates in mass portions. The photography business was doing well, resulting in $1 million in sales. This is equal to about $20 million today, adding in inflation.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Linda Hall Library]
Yet he and his brother left photography due to their interest in automobiles. They sold their dry plate business to George Eastman of Eastman-Kodak. Yes, that Kodak. Stanley’s automobile company started off well with their automobile. Although there are conflicting reports on if he was test-driving his automobile or simply just driving it, Francis died when he crashed the automobile into a woodpile. He was attempting to avoid farm wagons that were traveling on each side of him on the road.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Times of the Lion]

Andrei Zheleznyakov

  • Year of Death: 1992
  • Experiment: Working With Novichok 5 Nerve Agent
  • Cause of Death: Horrific Health Complications From Nerve Agent

Andrei Zheleznyakov was a Soviet scientist known for developing chemical weapons. Of course, we can state that many scientists who developed chemical weapons for the Soviet Union were forced to do so. Very few had the “option” to do this if the Soviet Leadership wanted them to do it. During the 1980s, Andrei helped to invent a nerve agent known as Novichok 5, considered to be one of the most impressive nerve agents ever invented. Yet he’d soon join our list of killer science experiments while working with the agent in 1987.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Woody Alec/Shutterstock.com]
This was when a small bit of residue from the Novichok got on him while he was in the Moscow Laboratory. This critically injured Andrei, causing him to lose consciousness for 10 days. He was given the antidote to the Novichok almost immediately after getting it on him. Yet the effects were critical. When he awoke, he had lost the ability to walk, had chronic weakness in harms arms, toxic hepatitis, epilepsy, severe depression, and the inability to read or concentrate for very long. After 5 years of agonizing deterioration, he finally passed away in 1992.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Boredom Therapy]

Ismail ibn Hammad al-Jawhari

  • Year of Death: 1010 AD
  • Experiment: Testing Flying Device
  • Cause of Death: Fell To His Death

We have to commend Ismail ibn Hammad al-Jawhari. Very few people have ever believed in their invention more than this man, who went for the gold in his experiment. Of course, he was not exactly a notable scientist in his time. The Kazakh Turkic man was actually a scholar and lexicographer. He wrote the very notable Arabic dictionary known as al-Ṣiḥāḥ fī al-lughah. Ismail was inspired by the idea of a man flying when he saw Abbas Ibn Firna’s glider.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Imamzadeh]
He was assumed to be under the illusion that, due to this glider, mankind could become like birds. As in, they could fly if only they had the proper equipment to do so. His delusion caused him to attempt to fly a contraption made of wood and rope. He essentially made two wooden wings. To test his invention, he did not go for something small. Rather, he climbed to the roof of the Nishapur Mosque. He leaped off the building and fell to his untimely death. Killer science experiments like this can be prevented by using a smaller building first.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Reddit]

Franz Reichelt

  • Year of Death: 1912
  • Experiment: Testing Parachute Suit
  • Cause of Death: Blunt Force Trauma, “Officially” A Heart Attack

Franz Reichelt was actually a tailor but in his spare time, this Frenchman was also an inventor. In fact, he invented a parachute suit design that was inspired by airplanes just as they emerged on the horizon. He tested his parachute design on several mannequins and each test was successful. This led him to try out the invention himself. After speaking to the French government, he was given permission to jump off of the Eiffel Tower wearing his parachute.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via HistoricWings.com]
His friends and family tried to get him to rethink the idea. Yet killer science experiments will happen when people like Franz are involved. Nothing was going to stop him from testing his invention. However, wind speed and other factors were not considered by Franz. Thus, he jumped off the 187-foot structure, but the parachute suit did not work, resulting in Franz hitting the frozen ground with a high impact. An autopsy was done after and found that he died from a heart attack during his fall.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Britannica]

Thomas Andrews, Jr.

  • Year of Death: 1912
  • Experiment: Maiden Voyage, Testing Out The RMS Titanic
  • Cause of Death: Ship Sunk After Hitting Iceberg, Body Never Recovered

Thomas Andrews, Jr. is credited “technically” for building the RMS Titanic. He was an Irish-born businessman and shipbuilder based in England. His company Harland and Wolff built the RMS Titanic based on his design, as he was the naval architect of the ship. Of course, it is hard to really test out an ocean-liner ship like the Titanic. You have to sail it on its first voyage and note all the problems that could be plaguing the ship along the way. Essentially, it’s a big experiment in itself.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Lightmax84/Shutterstock.com]
There are MANY stories about the Titanic and what resulted in it sinking in a mere few hours after it hit an iceberg. Some say it never should have been sailed at all. Others say it was going through an icy, foggy area that was risky in an effort to reach its destination faster than any other ship before it. Regardless, it split in two in April of 1912. More than 1,500 people died in the Titanic incident, thus putting this on the killer science experiments list for sure. Thomas Andrews was on the ship at the time and is presumed to have died, as his body was never recovered. Yet one survivor claimed Thomas saved several people.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via The Oklahoman]

Malcolm Casadaban

  • Year of Death: 2009
  • Experiment: Research On The Plague
  • Cause of Death: Literally, The Plague

Malcolm Casadaban was an Associate Professor of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology and Microbiology for the University of Chicago. He notably did tests on several different pathogens and viruses in his career. A specialist in the field, it made sense then for him to do research on the bacterium that caused The Plague. Yes, THAT Plague. The question many had was how this possibly happened. Cadadaban knew the risks of the Plague and safely handled everything he worked with. So how did this result in Malcolm joining the killer science experiments list with his Plague experiment?

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Kateryna Kon/Shutterstock.com]
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigated the incident, as they do with anything like this. They found that the strain that Casadaban used had never once been known to infect laboratory workers, as it was a genetically weakened strain. In fact, a strain like this might very well be used in a vaccination. The CDC found that the reason Malcolm died, however, was that he had undiagnosed hereditary hemochromatosis. This is a condition in which your body builds up too much iron and cannot get rid of it. Therefore, if even a small strain of the Plague attached to his blood’s iron, it could kill him.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via The Vintagent]

Sylvester H. Roper

  • Year of Death: 1896
  • Experiment: Public Speed Test On Steam Velocipede
  • Cause of Death: Heart Attack, Crashing The Velocipede

Sylvester H. Roper is the inventor of the steam-powered bicycle. While this would have been an early version of the motorcycle, it was a bit different. Since it employed steam and not things like oil or gas like future motorcycles, it operated a lot like steam-powered trains would have operated in that time. Roper was already a noted inventor who invented the shotgun choke and a revolver repeating shotgun. Yet Roper’s real fame comes from his use of steam.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via National Museum of American History – Smithsonian Institution]
Since Roper was an engineer, he actually invented one of the early automobiles in 1863, the steam carriage. Naturally, using the same concept for bicycles made sense, right? Calling it the “Roper Steam Velocipede,” he technically did invent the very first motorcycle of any kind. He tested it out many times, but in 1896, he wanted to do a public speed trial to further test out the Velocipede. Sadly, he ended up crashing. It was said that he had a heart attack but it’s unknown if the crash caused this or if his heart attack caused the crash.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via PeoplePill.com]

Elisabeth Fleischmann Aschheim

  • Year of Death: 1905
  • Experiment: X-Ray Experiments
  • Cause of Death: Long-Term Radiation Poisoning

Elisabeth Fleischmann Aschheim is quite unique to this list because she was not technically a scientist for the early part of her life. In fact, she was a bookkeeper. Yet she had a love for science, so when she found out about the discovery of X-Rays, she left her job and enrolled in Electrical Science School. Quick to learn all about the field, she soon bought her own x-ray equipment and opened one of the first x-ray labs in the United States. Her love of the field was clear to see. She continued to study the field quite often, along with her brother-in-law who happened to be a physician himself.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Blue Planet Studio/Shutterstock.com]
Elizabeth saw several patients during the Spanish-American War, allowing her to focus heavily on human bodies exposed to war. That allowed her to specialize in dental work as well. The real issue is that Ascheim, in spite of knowing the possible radiation issues x-rays caused, refused to protect herself during her experiments. She claimed it made patients uncomfortable, yet this practice cost Elizabeth her life. Her killer science experiments on x-rays led literally to radiation poisoning, which took her life at just 46 years old.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Finecut Artwork]

Wan Hu

  • Year of Death: Roughly 2000 BCE
  • Experiment: Testing Rocket Chair
  • Cause of Death: Rocket Explosion

Wan Hu is known by history as the “world’s first astronaut.” While Hu was not a notable inventor, the Chinese man did become a legendary figure in scientific history. His invention is the stuff of legend because of its simplicity because it makes sense to try even though we now know it’s a terrible idea. This experiment has been replicated by shows like Mythbusters and even copied for the movie Kung Fu Panda.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Quartz]
Essentially, Wan Hu took part in one of history’s first killer science experiments when he came up with the Rocket Chair. The idea was that he felt rockets, which were relatively new in his day, could launch him into space. Of course, he did not really think through oxygen needs nor did he realize how long the rockets he used would last. He managed to create a sustainable chair that could withstand weight and heat. Then strapped exactly 47 rockets to it. While it is unknown if he flew much or at all, the rockets exploded on him. The chair nor Wu were ever seen again, making many assume he blew himself up.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Twitter – @MrEwanMorrison]

Perillos of Athens

  • Year of Death: Roughly 550 BCE
  • Experiment: Bronze Bull Experiment
  • Cause of Death: Roasted To Death

While it is unknown if this is a true story from ancient times, some historians claim it’s true. Others claim it was propaganda. In Ancient Greece, an inventor named Perillos of Athens invented and built a new torture and execution device. He proposed the device to the tyrant ruler of Sicily, Phalaris. It could be used against criminals his land dealt with in theory. The device became known as the “Bull of Phalaris,” “Brazen Bull,” or the “Bronze Bull.” The latter being coined due to the bull being made entirely of bronze.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via InfoHow.org]
The device looked just like a bull and once people were inside, any screams that came out were converted into the sound of a bull. A person was locked inside and a fire was set underneath it. That would, in turn, heat the metal until the person was quite literally roasted to death. Truly, an awful way to go. Yet Phalaris was said to like the invention but needed an experiment to show it worked. Thus, he chose the bull’s inventor, Perillos himself, to test it on. The inventor was then killed by his bull.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Aviation Safety Network]

Michael Dacre

  • Year of Death: 2009
  • Experiment: AVCEN Jetpod Prototype Flying Test
  • Cause of Death: Jetpod Crash

Michael Dacre had a really cool idea. What if you could take a taxi to places and avoid the crowded roads? What if you could ride in an affordable flying taxi to make it to your location far faster? He felt that this could be done and it would give people a much faster way to travel between regional cities. The concept made sense and was eventually invented by the Avcen Limited corporation, backed by the Hong Kong-based Profit Sky Group Ltd. They called it the “AVCEN Jetpod.” It went through a lot of different versions, including a vehicle for military transport.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Evening Standard]
They eventually decided that it made sense as a taxi for regular people. The Flying Taxi could reach up to 340mph and only needed about 137 yards take-off or land. In theory, that could allow runways to be made close to the center of major cities. It was also quiet in sound, unlike regular planes today. Dacre sadly joined the killer science experiments list in August of 2009, when he tested out a prototype of the Jetpod himself. The sole occupant, he attempted to take off three times but on the fourth time, he lifted off. The Jetpod, however, stalled and crashed, killing him.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Lia Koltyrina/Shutterstock.com]

Marie Curie

  • Year of Death: 1934
  • Experiment: Radiation Testing
  • Cause of Death: Aplastic Anemia From Long-Term Radiation Exposure

Marie Curie and her husband Pierre are the very reason we truly know how radiation affects the human body. They were the first to discover the elements Radium and Polonium. They also coined the term “radioactivity” and found out that it could treat and kill cancerous tumors. The Curie family refused to patent this discovery in an effort to make sure people could get the treatment at a lower cost. Marie herself managed to do far more incredible research and development in the field after her husband’s passing. She even invented a mobile x-ray machine that would eventually be used in the military, and hospitals.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Moomusician/Shutterstock.com]
Curie won the Nobel Prize twice and was the first woman to ever win the Prize. She’s also the only woman to ever win it more than once. Yet the only person period to win the Prize in two different sciences. However, since Marie was one of the first to work with radiation and all that comes with it, she was also one of the first to suffer from its wrath. No protective gear had been invented beforehand to protect from radiation. Some came eventually but Marie had been exposed to much radiation in her life, it would not have done her any good. It was slow, but her killer science experiments in radiation ended her life.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Pinterest]

Valerian Ivanovich Abakovsky

  • Year of Death: 1921
  • Experiment: Aerowagon Railcar Test
  • Cause of Death: High-Speed Railcar Crash

Valerian Ivanovich Abakovsky is yet another Russian inventor on the list. He was only 25 years old when he managed to invent the “Aerowagon.” This was the first true high-speed railcar, which he managed to equip with an aircraft engine and propeller traction. In the early 1920s, many felt it could be a useful asset to get the Russian military to places all over the place at a far faster pace than others. Although, the main purpose was to get Soviet Officials to and from Moscow.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Pinterest]
Yet Abakovsky’s testing was usually small and he had not had the chance to do a true full car test run with the Aerowagon. He would get the chance to do that on July 24, 1921. Sadly, it was also the period in which he’d join the killer science experiments list. Abakovsky, a group of Communists, revolutionary Fyodor Sergeyev, and four others took his high-speed railcar out for its test run. The railcar made it from Moscow to Tula perfectly. However, on the way back, the railcar derailed at a high speed. It killed 6 of the 22 people on board, including Valerian himself.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Pinterest]

Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier

  • Year of Death: 1785
  • Experiment: Double-Balloon Test
  • Cause of Death: Likely Blunt-Forced Trauma From High Fall

The legend of Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier is very well known, most likely due to being quite the showman. He loved to capture the public’s attention. He’s also the first man to ever ascend in a hot air balloon. Which he did along with Marquis d’Arlandes. Drawn toward chemistry and experimental physics in school, he actually invented the breathing apparatus that is the basis for SCUBA gear today. The same equipment is used for hazard workers and partially for astronauts too.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Picryl]
Rozier’s theatrics caused him to take liberties and put himself in dangerous situations when displaying his inventions or doing lectures. This cost him one day as he attempted to “one-up” Jean-Pierre Blanchard, the first man to cross the English Channel. Rozier designed a new type of “double-balloon” with a hot air balloon underneath a hydrogen balloon. On July 15, 1785, he tried out his invention and died as he fell to Earth. It is widely assumed the heat along with hydrogen caused a fire and Rozier simply decided to jump out.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via The New Yorker]

Louis Slotin

  • Year of Death: 1946
  • Experiment: The Manhattan Project
  • Cause of Death: Massive Radiation Poisoning

Louis Slotin also took part in the infamous Manhattan Project, along with Harry Daghlian, Jr. However, Harry’s incident happened in 1945 and Slotin knew all about it. Everyone involved in the project knew and took major precautions afterward to protect themselves. Slotin had a doctorate in chemistry and helped to design the Cyclotron, an early particle accelerator. It’s obvious that the United States wanted someone like him involved in the development of the first nuclear bomb.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Atomic Heritage Foundation]
However, in 1946, during an experiment, Slotin dropped a sphere or beryllium onto a second sphere. Both spheres were even wrapped around a plutonium core. This caused an immediate critical reaction, with scientists present claiming to see a “blue glow” of the air ionization as well as feeling a major heatwave. Slotin ran outside and was incredibly ill, then rushed to a hospital where he died just 9 days later. He had massive radiation poisoning, which was equivalent to standing just 4800 feet away from an atomic bomb explosion. As far as killer science experiments go, Slotin went out big.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via The Hamilton Spectator]

Karel Soucek

  • Year of Death: 1984
  • Experiment: Stunt Barrel
  • Cause of Death: Blunt Force Trauma From Stunt Fall

The term “go big or go home” can certainly be applied to Karel Soucek. Born in Czechoslovakia, he became a stuntman who worked a lot in America. He made several things he would do stunts with, but he had his most genius stunt yet. Going over Niagra Falls in a barrel. Soucek custom-built a shock-absorbent barrel that could theoretically handle the fall. At 9 feet long and 5 feet in diameter, it should handle the impact. In 1984, he went over the waterfall. He emerged somehow alive but bleeding. While he tested this barrel, he did not test another until showtime.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Pinterest]
To even finance the Niagra Falls project, he convinced a company to sponsor him for another crazy stunt. He’d be dropped from a barrel 180 feet from the top of the Houston Astrodome into a tank of water in 1985. Even his friend, legendary stuntman Evel Knieval tried to talk Karel out of the insane stunt. But Soucek decided to do it anyway with the performance acting as his barrel experiment too. However, once the barrel released it began to spin badly and hit the rim of the water tank. Karel’s chest and abdomen were crushed and his skull was fractured. He died at the hospital that day.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Mikhail Markovskiy/Shutterstock.com]

Carl Scheele

  • Year of Death: 1786
  • Experiment: Taste-Testing and Enhaling Heavy Metal Toxins
  • Cause of Death: Heavy Metal Poisoning

Carl Scheele has finally been given proper credit for his work in chemistry but for years, this was not the case. He actually discovered several chemical elements years before others did so, yet the others were given credit for those discoveries. The most notable element that Carl was given 100% credit for is Oxygen. Yet he also discovered molybdenum, tungsten, manganese, and chlorine. However, many of these chemicals were and still are quite toxic. Especially without barriers.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Jarun Ontakrai/Shutterstock.com]
Scheele was a genius pharmaceutical chemist, but he was the first to discover them and could not have been aware of how toxic they were. One of the most unique things about Carl is that he loved to use all of his senses to test his work, including smell and taste. Two things that are kind of bad to use when it comes to toxic things. He somehow survived his hydrogen cyanide taste test. Yet he exposed himself to mercury, lead, fluoric acid, among many more. These killer science experiments caused him to die from heavy metal poisoning at just 44 years old.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via ARD-Mediathek]

Max Valier

  • Year of Death: 1930
  • Experiment: Working With Liquid Propellant Rockets
  • Cause of Death: Rocket Explosion

Max Valier put an entirely different spin on killer science experiments. He was a brilliant man who was a rocket pioneer and even founded Germany’s Verein für Raumschiffahrt (VfR Spaceflight Society). It was the world’s largest beginner rocketry society that could help people learn a lot about the industry. The literal rocket scientist developed the initial rocket systematic program and its four stages of development. His first stage was to do static engine experiments, the second stage was to use ground-based rocket-powered vehicles.

These Science Experiments Led To The Demise Of Their Creators
[Image via Pinterest]
The third stage was to produce a rocket-assisted aircraft, then the fourth stage was to make a complete rocket-propelled ship. He succeeded in the first stage and in the second, he made the world’s first rocket car. It hit speeds of 145mph! That made him feel confident enough to move into the third stage, where he worked with liquid propellant rockets for an aircraft. However, on May 17, 1930, one of the liquid oxygen-gasoline fueled rocket motors exploded. This sadly killed the brilliant inventor. Yet his research and work did not go to waste as others picked up on it and made space travel possible.

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