We often picture the scientific process as an ever elegant, sterile affair conducted my scholarly and regal figures in spotless white coats. While we're sure there is some science that's largely done in more clinical settings, the fact is the act of discovery is often chaotic, unpredictable, accidental and just plain messy.

It’s a shame what a bad rap science has gotten recently, since people are ”doing their own research” to find things science already knows. If they really did their own research like other great scientific minds, they’d leave dishes in their sink and eat bugs from other people’s feces. 

We bet you didn't know that getting a little dirty can often produce a lot of knowledge.

For example, Sir Robert Chesborough would demonstrate the healing power of vaseline by burning himself and then rubbing the stuff all over himself. We told you we believed you!

Here’s how disgusting things like that led to some massive scientific achievements. Scroll down for a dozen examples of gross things that people did that advanced scientific progress!

Drank cholera-infected water to diss fellow scientist CRACKED.COM Competition led Max von Pettenkofer to spite another scientist's findings by infecting himself with cholera to prove he wouldn't get sick.

Source: Sci Hi

Let a bug live in her foot CRACKED.COM Scientist Marlene Thielecke let a sand flea live in her foot for days to study sexual reproduction of the bug. Don't worry, it was a virgin flea.

Source: Science.org

Collected pee to turn into gold CRACKED.COM In an attempt to use alchemy to turn urine into gold, Hennig Brand collected lots of his own pee. After it evaporated he found not gold, but phosphorus.

Source: NPR

Get the Cracked Daily Newsletter!

We've got your morning reading covered.

Tags

Forgot Password?