A fairly recent study in October 2000 from a group of psychologists and other scientists in the Ukraine performed an experiment involving the human mind; specifically the senses of perception. Touch, taste, hearing, sight and smell would all be included in the experiment, as well as temperature, proprioception (position of your muscles) and the sense of gravity. The scientists were researching another sense that was more of a fairy tale at the time; the sense of Death.
The theory is that, when a human witnesses a death, or is in a place and a massive loss of life is occurring, the brain goes into a state where strange things occur. The theory is commonly fueled by the rumor of your life flashing before your eyes at a point where you feel you are going to die. It is thought due to rapid evolution, that slaughterhouse cows can now sense when they are about to die.
There had been 9 test subjects; 1 for each sense, all whom had volunteered. Although they hadn’t been told the experiment was about their senses, rather they were told it was a simple hypnosis experiment, and they were going to study memories. The first 8 subjects were injected with a muscle relaxant and strapped to their chair, as they were told this helps the hypnosis. Then they were hooked up to machines that would monitor a specific sense that the scientists had chosen for them.
This experiment was fairly basic. One subject was now told to close his eyes and imagine if the only thing he could do was smell. The same was told to the other 7 subjects, with their desired sense the difference. Scented oils were given to the man whose sense of smell was being monitored, and pictures were flashed to the man whose vision was being monitored. It was all straight forward, and the results were as expected. The men and women had no idea what had actually happened as they were under hypnosis at the time.
The 9th test subject’s desired sense was death. They strapped him in a chair, added the muscle relaxant, and kept his other senses aware, as the experiment required him to. Then they attached the machine to him to record the part of his brain they had thought had sensed death. Then, a fellow scientist had brought in a device on a medical cart, with a small rat attached to it. The rat had all his limbs restrained, and was in front of a screw-like bolt pointed to the underside of its jaw. The scientist explained that their doing the same experiment on the rat, so to not fear. Although this was not the case, the rat was actually supposed to be killed right in front of the man, so he could witness death, allowing the scientist to measure his sense of “death”.
They began the experiment, and left him in the room and told him to think about past memories. As he was thinking, a loud beep was made to get his attention to the rat. The man witnessed the bolt slowly move towards the underside of the rats jaw. It began to press against the rat, as it began to struggle. The rat had begun to make awful noises, while the confused and horrified man watched the bolt begin to crush its skull. Then a large cracking sound followed by smaller cracks, was heard as the bolt pressed the rats skull against the back of the pole. After that, the rats head was an unrecognizable roll of flesh and broken bones, pinned to the pole.
The man demanded to know what was going on. The scientists explained to him that he would be returning, and they wanted to see if a memory of this magnitude can push out other memories of his head, and was asked to continue. The man was reluctant, but he thought as long as he wasn’t getting hurt, he accepted to continue the experiment.
Now they began to kill rats in many bizarre ways, like dipping them in a tub of corrosive acid, or even burning them alive. They continued to measure the man’s sense of “death” as well. And the results were as expected. But the experiment was not finished. The last test was to measure his sense of death, while he was put in a life threatening situation.
A scientist walked in with a handgun and told the subject he was a problem to society, and proceeded to point the gun at the subjects head. Scared and confused, the subject cried with fear. And then, the scientist had pointed the gun at his neck, and pulled the trigger. The subject was surprised, as he gagged on the blood that flooded his windpipe. Eventually after 3 minutes, the subject had died.
The information from this experiment concluded that the man had in fact sensed the rat’s death, before he had known it was going to die. Though one thing had surprised the scientists; during the 3 minutes when he had been bleeding out, there seemed to be no brain activity present.