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Odd Scientific Studies: Alexander Graham Bell

It’s interesting some of the subjects that famous scientists have become fixated on. For Alexander Graham Bell , it was the body part of a specific animal, where he spent 30 years counting. In this article, you will also encounter information detailing the eccentric experiments of J. B. S. Haldane.

Alexander Graham Bell

Without the studies and discoveries of Alexander Graham Bell, the telephones that have become such an important part of daily communication may have taken longer to exist. Bell wore many different hats, as a scientist, engineer, and inventor, but in the end, he became credited with inventing the first practical telephone. What people don’t know much of is how eccentric the inventor was.

Bell’s windows displayed permanent covering in an effort to keep out ‘harmful rays’ of full moons. He spent time trying to teach his dog how to speak. The family cat became an experiment when he decided to dissect the feline so that he could study its vocal cords. Bell also showed an interest in livestock, spending 30 years counting the nipples of sheep. It was his belief that sheep born with extra nipples would give birth to more lambs. It wasn’t until the US State Department made an official announcement that they could find no connection between multiple nipples and increased fertility.

Other studies associated with Bell centered on elocution and speech , a field that interested Bell’s father, grandfather, and brother. Perhaps the interest was fueled by the fact that Bell’s mother and wife were deaf. This would play a significant role in Bell’s life and work. He would devote some of his research to hearing and speech, which led him to experiment with hearing devices. All of this effort contributed to his award of the first United States patent for the telephone in 1876. Ironically, Bell felt that the invention that gave him so much fame actually hindered his ‘real work’ as a scientist , so much so , he refused to outfit his study with a telephone.

Beyond the telephone and his strides in hearing devices, he also broke ground in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils, and aeronautics.

J. B. S. Haldane

Although a pioneer in genetics, not many people know about the English scientist named J. B. S. Haldane, who conducted many experiments on himself. One time, he drank a bottle of hydrochloric acid and then biked his way home to see what kind of effect it would have on him. After swallowing a near-fatal dose of calcium chloride, he suffered intense diarrhea that brought on a painful spell of constipation. In an effort to test his lung capacity, he swallowed 1 ½ ounces of bicarbonate of soda and then ran up and down a fight of stairs 20 times. As a consequence, he had a fit, which landed him several crushed vertebrae.

So, what were J. B. S. Haldane’s best accomplishments? The British-born geneticist and evolutionary biologist became one of the founders of population genetics. His achievements were awarded with the Darwin Medel (1952) from the Royal Society and the Huxley Memorial Medal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (1956).