People Who Tested Horrible Ideas On Themselves

What better way to prove the validity of an idea or theory than by testing it out through a series of trial and error? And while it’s great to have confidence in yourself, some people have way too much, to the point that they’re willing to try out their craziest and most absurd ideas on themselves. So here are five individuals who did just that, even at the cost of their life.

1. Franz Reichelt Tested His Parachute 

It was the year 1912, when French tailor and inventor Franz Reichelt felt the need to test what he believed to be the perfect parachute. Airplanes were still somewhat new, and Reichelt was fixated on the idea of creating a suit that would allow aviators to land safely. He had already tested the parachute several times from his own apartment, though only on dummies. Blaming the failure on the low test platform, Reichelt climbed the Eiffel Tower to prove his invention, only to fail after the parachute didn’t deploy in time.

2. Michael Smith Purposely Got Stung by Bees

Michael Smith is a man who studies bees for a living, including how their colonies work and their overall behavior. He regularly suffered one or two stings, no big deal, until one stung him in a rather sensitive place. Realizing that it didn’t hurt as much as he expected, Smith made it his duty to find out the worst place to receive a bee sting. And after subjecting himself to dozens of stings all over his body, he finally came to the painful conclusion that your nostril is the worst place to be stung by a bee.

3. The Spiritualist Who Tried to Prove The Afterlife

The belief in the afterlife is one of the oldest concepts that can be found in just about every culture around the world. One that’s often dismissed by naysayers who self-proclaimed spiritualist Thomas Lynn Bradford made it his mission to prove wrong. So in 1921, Bradford took himself there, or so he thought. His goal was to communicate with his living partner, who was neither a psychic nor aware of his plans, of what was on the other side. And to no one’s surprise, she never received any ghostly messages.

4. Horace Hunley Tested A Submarine

Marine engineer Horace Hunley went to great lengths to prove the efficiency of his 40-foot submarine. During the first test, the sub got stuck in the mud while traveling under an anchored vessel. And the other one resulted in him losing his crew when the hatch suddenly opened. At his wits end, Hunley stepped up to lead the third test himself, a decision that cost him both his life and the crew’s. The sub was later raised and became the first sub to successfully sink a vessel in battle. 

5. Troy Hurtubise Invented a Bear Suit 

After an alleged encounter with a real bear, Canadian inventor Troy Hurtubise had the brilliant idea of creating a bear-proof suit. He did just that and the suit was really massive and awkward-looking. To make sure that it was really bear-proof, Hurtubise put on the suit and had his friends beat him with sticks, giant logs and even hit a pickup truck. It proved to be quite sturdy, but maybe a little too much as Hurtubise kept falling over while testing it in the wild.

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