Friday, November 02, 2007

Elephants on Acid

Fresh from writing on the benefits of removing Elephants from freezing living conditions, we learn that Elephants are highly allergic to LSD and will likely die if injected.

When Warren Thomas, the director of Lincoln Park Zoo in Oklahoma City, approached Tusko the elephant with a syringe full of LSD in 1962, he thought that he was about to make a major contribution to science.

Within a few moments of being injected, Tusko began trumpeting furiously, before keeling over as if he had been shot. An hour later, he was dead. “It appears that the elephant is highly sensitive to the effects of LSD,” Thomas and his colleagues concluded.

Well Duh!!!

I wonder what an appropriate dose by elephant body mass would be? Probably enough to pay off your mortgage.

That and many other odd scientific journeys are described in the top ten wacky science experiments of all time.

As the author states

“Sometimes such single-mindedness leads to brilliant discoveries. At other times it can end up closer to madness. Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing in advance where the journey will lead.”

You have to wonder sometimes about the rational thinking of some scientists. At least they didn't give it a line of cocaine and get it to snort. Now that would have been expensive.


James Higham said...

One can use the word "wacky". One could also use the word "cruel".

Andree said...

this gruesome story reminds me of a Public Broadcasting Service show I watched one night. The PBS network has the highest grades for news, documentaries, you name it. Yet this show (I can't even remember the topic) showed an ancient film of scientists electrocuting an elephant. Without warning, in full graphic detail.

When will we finally evolve, damnit. What is it about elephants that makes scientists think they can do this?

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