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15 Most Disturbing Scientific Discoveries From The Last 100 Years

15 Most Disturbing Scientific Discoveries From The Last 100 Years

New scientific discoveries are made every day from medical breakthroughs to the discovery of new species on Earth as well as on other planets in our solar system. Over the course of human history, we have come across thousands of discoveries. Scientists have come to some astonishing discoveries about the world and our place in it. But aren’t some things just better left unknown? Scientific discoveries are revolutionary, they solve many mysteries of our lives and this chaotic world we live in. But sometimes they can be downright scary.

Not all the discoveries are groundbreaking. While some leave us shocked, others will have implications for the future, either good or bad. Some of the discoveries like gravity, electricity and the big bang theory are life changing and worth celebrating but then there comes another side to this story. Let’s take a look at the most disturbing discoveries scientist has ever made.

15. Human head transplant


Human head transplants mean that the human head is replanted to a new body, of course with the approval of both the parties. This experimentation has already taken place on dogs, monkeys and rats without reattaching the spine and it has proved to be successful. The idea was generated by the controversial Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero and his counterpart Xiaoping Ren. They experimented with transplanting the head of a smaller rat to a larger rat while maintaining the brain activity of the donor and shared the photos of their experiments with other rats. The same procedure was carried out on a dog as reported by Canavero. In 2016, he successfully transplanted a monkey’s head, but the primate had to be euthanized after a while. Canavero has claimed to have a way of reattaching the spinal cord as well and he is confident that it will be successful. The operation on his first human volunteer may take place in 2018.

14. Baby disposal

via national geographic

Over 100 babies’ residues were discovered in an ancient bathhouse in Ashkelon, Israel. In early ages, babies were not considered valuable. In Roman times, babies were regarded as burdens and many of them were killed to control the birth rate. It was widely considered by historians that the newborns belonged to prostitutes because the infants appeared to be perfectly healthy before dying and had no signs of illness. Initially when the bones when found, they were thought to belong to hens, however, later they were discovered to be infant’s bones.

13. Herring fish communicate in farts

via Today I Found Out

One of the most farting, sorry, startling discovery was made by scientists in UK and Canada. They discovered that herrings use farting as a means of communication. The tiny fish releases a sound of 22 kHz which makes a stream of bubbles, from their anus. These sounds are released with the purpose of sending signals to the other herrings. They do not fart due to fear or diet. In dark waters, herrings communicate by farting when there are other herrings around them. The other herrings reinforce the idea by responding to them.

12. Gila monster spit helps to reduce chocolate craving

via Mental Floss

Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy surprisingly discovered a substance that helps to reduce chocolate craving but what’s disturbing about this discovery is that the substance is found in the saliva of Gila monsters. The saliva is used in a drug that reduces cravings for sweet food in general. The researchers also studied the use of the chemical on rats in helping to control diabetes. The discovery claims that the saliva seems to stimulate the reward and motivation regions of the brain, resulting in reducing starvation and craving for overeating. The same area of the brain is involved in alcohol craving but the test to claim this has not taken place yet.

11. The screaming mummy


In 1881, an unidentified mummy was found during religious rituals in Egypt. When the body was unwrapped in 1886 by archaeologists, they found themselves confronted with the horrific face of a man twisted in a shout. The mummy was in a stone coffin and had no recognizable marks or names on his sarcophagus. It was stored in a Cairo museum. After 100 years, a group of Egyptologists reopened the case of the unknown man which was later called the “screaming mummy”. The mummy that barely had any identity was unable to reach the afterlife, therefore, some experts believe that the unknown man whose coffin had no recognizable marks was cursed on purpose to burn in hell for good.

10. Meat eating sponge


A carnivorous sponge has been spotted in deep ocean waters off California’s Monterey Bay. The meat-eating species labeled as “harp sponge” will gradually eat you before you become aware of it. This peculiar species was never seen by the human eye until 2000. A team from the Monterey Bay Research Aquarium Institute in Moss Landing, California came across this disturbing discovery of this species. They later collected two sponges and after a comparison with other carnivorous sponges, they were given the scientific name Chondrocladia Lyra. The conclusion of their analysis was published in October 2012 in the journal Invertebrate Biology. Velcro-like barbed hooks cover the sponge’s branching limbs, trapping crustaceans as they are swept into its branches by deep-sea currents. Once the sponge seizes its meal, it envelops the animal in a thin membrane, and then gradually begins to digest its prey.

9. Snakes eat monkeys

Tade Productions

In August 2013, researchers captured a disturbing scenario of a boa constrictor eating a howler monkey whole on camera. Predation does take place on primates, monkeys and large cats by snakes but it is rarely observed by humans. More often, primates seek protection in numbers, as they tend to live in groups with their families. In this case, the poor monkey strolled too far away from its bunch and failed to notice the boa. The boa taking advantage of monkey’s situation swallowed him up. When the boa swallowed its body, the distortion of its body was also captured in a video.

8. The Fly is the most disgusting creature


Researchers claim that the fly is an advanced insect, but it is surely the most disturbing animal. Where to begin? How about that sandwich you’re about to take a bite of, flies consume excrement and their bodies are dipped in bacteria so if they recently landed on your tempting meal you might want to make a choice about chowing it down or leaving it right away. Flies not only buzz around our food; they vomit on our food. They puke up enzymes, digestive juices, and saliva assisting the breakdown of a soupy substance which they suck through their tongue shaped like a straw. The worst part is that they leave behind their puke soup for us to share. Additionally, they lay their eggs in dead flesh, which hatch to form bobbing little maggots.

7. The heartbreaking letter found in a father’s tomb


“I just want to go to you. Please take me to where you are. My feelings towards you I cannot forget in this world and my sorrow knows no limit. Where would I put my heart now and how can I live with the child missing you… When I give birth to the child in me, who should it call father?”

These are the sorrowful words written on a piece of paper by a pregnant woman grieving for her dead husband. The letter was discovered and translated in 2000 and was unearthed in Andong City, South Korea. It was addressed to “Won’s father” and laid beneath the earth on the top of the mummified body for nearly half a millennium. Although the author of the letter is unknown, little is known about her spouse. Her husband is thought to have been a member of Korea’s ancient Goseong Yi clan, a group indigenous to the area of Andong City. His well-preserved body suggests he was a tall man with a dark beard and a “charming appearance”, but no indication of age or cause of death. The heart-breaking letter finishes with a plea for the deceased to visit her in her dreams. “Come to me in my dreams and show yourself in detail… Come to me secretly and show yourself. There is no limit to what I want to say.”

6. Three-parent embryo


The dramatic scientific discovery which now allows the formation of a three-parent embryo was made in 2013. And the first child with three parents was born in 2016 in Mexico. It helps the women who desire to become pregnant but are afraid of passing on certain genes to their children. A donor provides healthy mitochondrial cells, used to prevent genetic conditions that can be passed on from mother to their infants, while the genetic information is maintained from the parents that will make the child theirs. This discovery is considered as disturbing by many because the idea of three biological parents makes people uncomfortable. Also, the long-term effects of this therapy on the child are uncertain and there are still doubts about the efficacy of the treatment.

5. Plastic causes infertility


Bisphenol A or BPA is found in many of plastic products, in the form of boxes used to store food and even in soda cans. BPA was neglected for so many years until the researchers found out in 2014 that not only does this chemical enter food and fluids through the boxes in which it is stored, but as soon as it has been consumed by the humans, BPA starts acting as synthetic estrogen. As a consequence, exposure to BPA can lead to infertility or the growth of tumors in the uterus. Over the long haul, exposure may result in developing the risk of diabetes, breast cancer or having a heart attack.

4. Robot surgeons

The use of robotic systems for least harmful surgery has rapidly increased during the last decade. The first autonomous surgery carried out by a robot took place in 2016. Although the initial operation was carried out on a pig, by the Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot STAR, the technology has been advanced to work on humans. The robots proved to be more accurate and fast and are able to manage in specialist surgeries. But the most important question remains unanswered: are the patients comfortable in putting their lives in the hands of robots? The machines are doing their job in medical treatment. Regardless of the broad adoption of robotic systems for least obtrusive surgery in the US, a non-negligible number of technical complexities are still being experienced during the surgeries. Adoption of improved techniques of robotic surgical systems and improved components may reduce these preventable incidents in the future.

3. Greenhouse gases out of control


The scientific discovery that disturbs us regardless of our age, location, profession or income is the increase in greenhouse gas emissions in our atmosphere affecting the climate and human survival on Earth. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide have reached a new record high of 400 parts per million during the previous year as reported by the World Meteorological Organization in 2016. This is the figure that shoots up every year, increasing the Earth’s average temperature. Governments around the world need to take action to prevent global warming which is causing many health problems, rising sea levels, and extreme weather events.

2. Your behavior is controlled by your unconscious mind


In modern science, the unconscious is explained as the automatic processes that go on in your brain. We don’t require an effort for them as they are completely beyond our awareness, and are mostly beyond your control. Sigmund Freud didn’t exactly give the idea of the conscious versus unconscious mind, but he played a vital role to make it popular and this was one of his main contributions to psychology. According to him, most of our behaviors are driven by unknown factors. Freud believed the unconscious mind is what really controls human behavior. Our feelings, motives, and decisions are actually powerfully influenced by our past experiences and stored in the unconscious, even though we don’t actively recognize it. Which explains why most of the time we don’t realize what we’re really doing until someone points it out to us.

1. Things that taste good are bad for you


In 1948, the Framingham heart study was conducted in which over 5000 residents of Framingham, Massachusetts participated. His study was about risk factors of heart disease. Along with the results of numerous studies, this study also shows that one’s risk of heart disease, strokes, diabetes, certain kinds of cancer and other health problems is directly proportional to the exposure of delicious food. Steaks, salty French fries, eggs benedict, triple fudge brownies with whipped cream turn out to be unsuspected killers. However, not all delicious foods are health hazards. Organic foods and fruits are healthy and may also be helpful in curing several diseases.

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