Evidently, science has made immense progress from what it used to be two decades ago. And of course, progress cannot be made without a few trials and errors along the way. But when it comes to errors, there have been ones that have been far more bizarre or disastrous than the rest. 


For instance, this set of scientific experiments that were carried out by Russian surgeon, Serge Abrahamovitch Voronoff. He worked for many years at exploring the relationship between human reproductive organs and the longevity of life. Serge Voronoff believed that the secret to a long life or eternal youth was hidden in the way our sex hormones interacted with our bodies. 


He experimented in several different ways to prove this hypothesis. The surgeon even went as far as to inject himself with a serum made of finely ground dog and guinea pig testicles! He spent the next decade or so performing testicle transplants on animals such as goats, sheep and bulls, cross-implanting organs between younger organisms/animals and older ones. 


And, because he saw immediate results from this experiment, he felt as though it was now time to move on to testing on humans. 

He began with transplanting monkey thyroid implants into the bodies of patients suffering from hypothyroidism. He then slowly moved onto grafting baboons’ and chimpanzees’ testicles into the scrotum of men. Serge Voronoff assured his patients that the grafting would increase their memory, enhance their eyesight, reduce their overall fatigue and increase their libido. 


As well as, lengthen the span of their lives. In 1920, on the 12th of June, he finally moved on to transplanting monkey testicles into men’s bodies. 

Three years down the line he gained a lot of fame, money and appreciation from fellow scientists due to an increase in the demands of the treatment. He lived in luxurious hotels, accompanied by staff, chefs etc. But, it didn’t take the science fraternity too long to realise that the reason behind the treatments’ success was simply a placebo effect. 

The surgeon died in 1951. And although his contributions really added to the understanding of modern-day endocrinology, these series of experiments were beyond bizarre!

Elixir- shmilixir – I just want to grow old in peace.