6 Geniuses Who Saw Their Inventions Turn Evil

#3. Wally Conron Invented a New Kind of Dog/Method of Torturing Dogs

John Howard/Digital Vision/Getty Images

In 1988, a blind Hawaiian woman needed a guide dog that wouldn't trigger her husband's allergies, causing Aussie guide dog breeder Wally Conron to swing into action. Or more accurately, to swing a couple of dogs into some action until a Labrador and a non-shedding poodle successfully boned and created the world's first hypoallergenic guide dog.

 Oracle7/Wiki Commons
"Also, in an emergency, it makes a pretty great mop!"

But there was a problem. Guide dog puppies are billeted out to volunteer families to learn the basics of good-dog-ology, and those families all wanted a purebred Labrador. Putting on his best fedora hat, Conron went all Don Draper on the problem and rebranded his creation as a new breed called the labradoodle, setting off a squee that echoed around the world.

Noooo! You Maniacs!

Want a reagle (beagle/Rottweiler), a chusky (chow/husky), or a chiweenie (Chihuahua/Dachshund)? You got it, and it's all thanks to Conron, whose labradoodle kicked off a global fad for adorable portmanteau "designer dogs." Today, though, he is concerned less with the precious abominations that he inspired and more with the inhumane breeding practices that make them possible: "I opened a Pandora's box, that's what I did. I released a Frankenstein."

Falconhs02/Wiki Commons
"Who's an affront to God and nature? You are! Yes you are!"

You see, as the popularity of Conron's breed grew, so did the demand for crazier mixes, together with their prices. Before long, backyard breeders who had no idea what they were doing -- and puppy mills that just didn't give a shit -- started pumping out anything with a cute hybrid name, with no regard for the dog's well-being or viability.

Creating whole generations of puppies with innate health problems (with epilepsy leading the charge) is bad enough, but sadly it did not stop there. According to Conron, the biggest sin that those people committed was marketing their mixes as being docile and hypoallergenic, when in most cases they clearly are not. It turns out successful breeding isn't as easy as leaving two dogs a plate of spaghetti and looking away for 10 seconds, and if you don't know what you're doing, you end up with "half crazy and untrainable" beasts that, oh yeah, also shed fur like crazy.

Still, even Neil Young owned a labradoodle, and if they can warm his surly old heart, then who are you to resist?

#2. Tony Wild's Promotion of an Exotic Coffee Led to Horrifying Acts of Animal Cruelty

Gunawan Kartapranata/Wiki Commons

In case you've never seen The Bucket List, kopi luwak is a type of gourmet coffee made from coffee beans that have been eaten and crapped out (undigested) by the Asian palm civet, a type of mongoose/cat hybrid endemic to Southeastern Asia.

No, really.

HaztechGuy/Wiki Commons
That has to be at least twice as weird as drinking cow's milk.

The critters stalk coffee plantations and eat the ripest coffee cherries there, which are then processed through their digestive system and infused with the aroma from their anal glands, giving them a complex, rich flavor. On the other hand, they do come out of a cat's ass, which is probably why the coffee never made it as a commercial product before 1991. That's when Tony Wild, a British tea and coffee importer, first brought 2 pounds of it to the U.K.

Initially, he thought that the coffee's weird origin would bring some local publicity to his company, but to his complete shock, the whole damn country went nuts over kopi luwak, which inexplicably took off as the most expensive coffee on the planet and now goes for anywhere between $100 and $600 a pound.

Noooo! You Maniacs!

Nowadays, the gourmet coffee industry doesn't want to waste their time by running after bloated civets with a pooper scooper. They decided that it would be simpler to catch a few hundred of them and cram them into tiny cages where they can be force fed more than 7 pounds of coffee beans a day to poop out their brown gold. In human terms, that's like drinking 250 shots of espresso in a tiny room while soiling yourself out of fear.

Sutr/Flickr/Wiki Commons
And that has to be at least twice as cruel as caging chickens.

Even more depressingly, civets like their space and don't care for captivity. Locked together in cruel civet-prisons, they've even been known to chew their own paws off. We know this because Tony Wild, horrified at his gimmick gone feral, led a documentary crew to Indonesia and filmed all this depressing stuff himself, later comparing the fad he's created to "a grotesque cancer that constantly mutates into yet more vile and virulent forms."

As a result, British department stores promised to check out their supply chain, and the Indonesian government is working on a proper certification scheme. In the meantime, we're afraid that kopi luwak fans really have no way of knowing whether their poop coffee is disgusting or not.

#1. Arthur Galston's "Plant Viagra" Got Turned into a Horrifying Weapon of War

US Army

In the 1940s, a graduate student at the University of Illinois named Arthur Galston was working on a way to make soybeans grow faster, and he was having some success with something called 2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid. However, he discovered that when applied in large quantities, it would cause the plant to die.

Office of Public Affairs
"Honestly, without plant boners, what's the point of going on?"

Still, the discovery earned him a doctorate in botany because, hey, he did find a way to speed up the growth of soybeans. Yes, in concentrated doses it pretty much dissolved vegetation, but nobody really cared about that. Why would anybody want to murder literally every single plant in a given area?

Noooo! You Maniacs!

Military researchers messed around with Galston's soy steroids, eventually leading to the invention of Agent Orange, the deadly Vietnam War herbicide that was dropped over huge swathes of land to kill everything that was green and could be used to hide or feed enemy combatants. When Galston went over there to investigate the effects of mishandling his invention, he was so lost for words regarding the destruction of plant, animal, and marine life that Agent Orange caused that he had to invent a whole new one to describe it: "ecocide."

But the Air Force insisted that Agent Orange didn't hurt people. That's why it technically didn't count as illegal chemical warfare and was really more like strategic gardening when you think about it. And indeed, the tree-smiting chemicals themselves weren't that harmful. The catch is that synthesizing those up creates dioxins, a byproduct so spectacularly bad for humans that just reading about them can probably give you cancer.

Department of Defense
We could show you photos of the people, instead of the plants, but you're probably on your lunch break. You're welcome.

Back home, Galston rallied his scientist pals, and together they did pretty much everything besides mass streak at the Super Bowl with "dioxins" Sharpied on their dongs to raise awareness of the dangers of Agent Orange. Finally dioxins were proven to be carcinogenic, which was enough evidence to make Richard Nixon order to stop the sprayings in 1970. And thus the military never did anything horrifying or morally reprehensible ever again.


Blair is on Twitter and sometimes writes short stories for his friend's Carnisnora Tumblr. Daniel has a humor blog, the existence of which he regrets on a daily basis.

For more inventors who saw their innovations go wrong, check out 6 Geniuses Who Saw Their Inventions Go Terribly Wrong. And also be sure to check out 7 Inventors You Didn't Know You Wanted to Punch In the Face.

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