10 insane experiments of real-life mad scientists

Jean-Antoine Nollet Electrocuted Monks

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In the 18th century, Jean-Antoine Nollet became fascinated by Benjamin Franklin’s electricity experiments and wanted to know how fast electricity really traveled. So Nollet lined up a row of monks 1 kilometer (0.6 mi) long and had them all hold hands. Then he made the ones on the ends grab live electric wires.

Nollet’s goal was to measure the speed of electricity traveling through a conduit of humans. When the whole line of monks jumped up and yelped in pain at the same time, he found out. Proudly, Nollet recorded his scientific measurement of the speed of electricity: “Very fast.”

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