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10 Famous Scientists Killed by Their Own Experiments

They’ve plunged to their deaths, been irradiated and suffocated, all in the name of science. Meet the 10 Scientists who’ve killed themselves during their own experiments.

Man owes a great debt to the scientists on this list; all of them were died in their pursuit of knowledge. The advances they have all made to science are extraordinary and many of them paved the way for some of man’s greatest discoveries and inventions.

10Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier (1785)

Obsessed with hot air balloons, he experimented sending ducks and sheep into flight. He became the first known air fatality when an experimental balloon deflated at 457 meters.

09Max Valier (1930)

Valier devoted himself to creating rocket-powered sleds and trains. Desperate for a liquid-fueled rocket, he died in his lab after a liquid oxygen run motor exploded.

08Sieur Freminet (1772)

Freminet developed one of the earliest scuba devices to enable breathing under water. Testing one machine under water, it failed to release retained air – he died after 20 minutes of oxygen starvation.

07Tim Samaras (2013)

This meteorologist chased hurricanes and lightning strikes to develop ways of predicting storms. He died when a tornado took hold of his car. His son also died after winds threw him 2.4 kilometers.

06Harry H. Daghlian, Jr (1945)

During work on the first atomic bombs he dropped a tungsten carbide brick onto a nuclear core. His hands immediately began to glow and blister – he slipped into a coma, dying of radiation poisoning 25 days later.

05Elizabeth Fleischman Ascheim (1905)

Introduced x-rays to military hospitals to help locate lodged bullets. Using herself as a test subject while experimenting with the rays, she developed a fatal, aggressive cancer,

04Carl Wilhelm Scheele (1986)

Scheele independently discovered oxygen, chlorine and manganese. He regularly tasted toxic substances throughout his studies, eventually dying of mercury poisoning.

03Louis Slotin (1946)

Louis Irradiated when uranium and plutonium accidentally touched during atomic weapons development. He suffered from internal paralysis, gangrene and erythema, and died after nine days.

02Marie Curie (1934)

Marie died of leukemia after exposure to radioactive material over three decades. She´d hold radium with her bare hands – a material now used in nuclear bombs.

01Alexander Bogdanov (1928)

The physician believed blood transfusions could provide eternal youth. He died after transfusing himself with the blood of a young student suffering from malaria and TB.
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