The "Throw poo at it" approach remained a medical option in various forms long after the middle ages. 17th-century chemist Robert Boyle preached a treatment for cataracts which required human excrement to be dried into powder and then blown into the eye. An 18th-century minister promoted an epilepsy cure which urged the patient to swallow pulverized baby poop over the course of several days. Medieval medicine was an elaborate Jackass-style prank, with the reveal coming centuries after everyone had died from hardcore pinkeye.
Humans Start Out As Tiny Versions Of Themselves
In the 1600s-1700s, the scientific and religious communities (not entirely separate) widely believed in the concept of "preformation," which stated, essentially, that all species had been made by God at the time of Creation, and animals "growing" was simply the unfolding of preformed parts. So every creature, including humans, were biological Russian nesting dolls. Oddly enough, they were kind of right about people coming from tiny reproductive cells located in the parents, buuuut they fudged the specifics a wee bit, believing instead that a tiny intact human was chilling inside of a sperm cell .
N. Hartsoecker Possibly at the helm of a tiny cockpit. Details are sketchy.
The idea was that humans came to life when the minuscule adult got sick of chillaxing and decided to enlarge. Scientists could not agree if the teeny person was located in the sperm or the ovum. Looking back today, it doesn't matter which was accepted, because both work equally well for our purposes: laughing at old-timey idiots.
Think Nana and Pop-Pop's loving 60-year monogamous relationship is quaint and old-fashioned? First off, sorry for that disturbing image, but we've got some news for you: the monogamous sexual relationship is actually brand new relative to how long humans have been around. Secondly, it's about to get worse from here: monkey sex.
On this month's live podcast, Jack O'Brien and the Cracked staff welcome Dr. Christopher Ryan, podcaster and author of 'Sex at Dawn', onto the show for a lively Valentine's Day discussion about love, sex, why our genitals are where they are, and why we're more like chimps and bonobos than you think.
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