Adventure Time!

One upon a time, a chemist was working late at night in his lab.  As it got late, the chemist began to feel sick and so he decided to have his lab assistant help him to get home, but all the chemist had for transportation was a bicycle.  He decided he was well enough to make his journey home, but could not have been more wrong.

Aside from some sweat and a migraine, the chemist felt quite fine.  Soon, however, he began to grow quite sensitive to light.  After a few minutes, the light went away, and a whole new set of images filled the chemist’s vision.  At first, building and people began to warp and distort to strange shapes and sizes.  The chemist got off of his bike and took the images in whilst hurrying home.  “Oh, my…” he thought, “Could I be going insane?”

“As he got closer and closer, the distorted shaped changed to bright and vibrant colors and patterns, filling his eyes with a disturbing beauty that did not go away even when his eyes closed.  Never did these pictures stay the same, for what the chemist saw was like a swirling kaleidoscope.  “This is not normal…” the chemist whispered to himself repeatedly, “This is not good.  I am surely loosing my mind!”

Things only got worse for the chemist, for now he was beginning to believe himself more and more.  As he somehow managed to reach his home, the chemist saw his neighbor outside of her door.  What he saw was a grotesque and sadistic witch, making an attempt on his very life.  Any feelings that the chemist once felt were now replaced with pure anxiety and fear, and any doubt that the chemist was insane had left his mind.  He ran into his home and called for help, and so his wife sent for the police.

The police examined the chemist, who still seemed to be in a world of his own.  They noted that he seemed perfectly fine, save his dilated pupils.  They would check up on him later to see if his behavior would cede.  As they made their way out, the chemist had a thought.

“My experiment, that chemical!”  the chemist remembered.  “Had it poisoned me?  Was this all in my head?”  Suddenly, as this thought came to mind, the chemist began to slip back into reality, feeling relieved and content.

The chemist’s name was Albert Hoffman.  He was a Swiss scientist famous for the discovery of lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly referred to as LSD, which he tested on himself, causing the experience told above.  Behaviors associated with taking the drug are either complete relaxation and lethargy or uncontrolled and frantic bursts, mimicking many psychoactive behaviors.  If you could relate to this story in any way, you need to see a professional, make sure no one touches your drinks, or stop listening to Timothy Leary.

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  1. That was very interesting to read! We know that we shouldn’t test experiments on ourselves. We also only do experiments when there is a teacher or parent present. Did Albert Hoffman invent anything else? How did everyone find out about his experience?

    • Well, his experiment was conducted in Switzerland in 1943 (hence the use of a bike, do to the fact it was wartime). Much like the drug itself, Hoffman’s story became very well known after it entered society through the use of government testing and recreational use. He is mostly famous for his books on his research and science itself, though he is the creator of multiple hallucinogenics (most notably LSD and mushrooms). If you’re wondering why I know so much about illicit substances, it was for an extra-credit chemistry essay last year. The reason I connect this to “insanity” is because Hoffman intended this as a medical drug to help analyze people’s inner thoughts and feelings for the sake of mental health, and had no idea how quickly it would be abused. Hopefully and answered all of your questions (and more)!


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