This is a list of 10 scientists, and science teams people were convinced were mad scientists going to destroy the world, and some that actually could of. Mad scientists are something that rarely appears outside of stories, however, there have been some scientists who created things so devastating, or were so careless, it borders on madness. These mad scientists could have potentially destroyed the world in some cases, and in other cases it was simply a hoax, and there was no real danger.


The destructive power of the atom bomb, and the sheer number of atomic bombs in existence, has led to a situation in which the slightest mistake could lead to nuclear annihilation. Take the Cuban missile crises, a US soldier saw a mysterious figure in the woods and then sounded the alarm, the wrong alarm. The false alarm got the US to prepare for all out war, and so did Russia, the world almost ended that day and we only survived thanks to the heroic actions of a Russian commander named Vasili Arkhipov. The Russian’s needed an absolute majority in order to launch, but Vasili refused to vote for Armageddon.

Starfish Prime

Imagine setting off a nuclear bomb in outer space, and causing a blast so large you almost end the world, by blowing a hole in our atmosphere; well that’s Starfish Prime for you. The US detonated a 1.4 megaton nuke, which is the equivalent of 1.4 million tons of TNT. It was a such a powerful blast that even though it went off in outer-space, the after effects caused street lights to go out in Hawaii, and manipulated electricity hundreds of kilometres away. Some scientists theorised that the blast could potentially weaken the Earth’s protection against cosmic waves. The radiation would cause havoc on the earth. After this experiment went wrong, both the Soviets and the US agreed to stop testing nukes in space.

Operation Stormfury

Somehow, the US managed to pour almost 200 pounds of dry into a hurricane, in an attempt to try and direct the hurricane whatever direction they felt like, however this didn’t work. Instead, what happened is that the hurricane flew wildly off course, and started rampaging towards a town called Savannah in Georgia, US. Eventually they stopped these experiments. If the US were to continue with this line of dangerous experimentation, it could have led to a new form of warfare potentially capable of wiping out all life on earth. The goal was to pour dry into the hurricane causing it to freeze on the inside, lessening the destructive power of the hurricane.

Kenneth Bainbridge

A series of nuclear tests were performed in the Jornada del Muerto desert, which translates to “Journey Of The Dead Man”. Code named “Trinity Tests”, they were designed to test the aftereffects of nuclear detonation. Nobel prize winning scientist Enrico Fermi, warned that it could set off a chain reaction that would ignite the Earth’s atmosphere, and kill all human life on the planet. Even with this warning they continued with the experiment anyway. The test was directed by Kenneth Bainbridge, a Harvard physicist. The Trinity test was a part of the Manhattan Project. The bomb was nicknamed “The Gadget” and released about 22,000 tons of TNT. It was the first nuclear bomb ever detonated. Luckily it didn’t destroy the world.

The Kola Superdeep Borehole

During the cold war the Soviets attempted to dig deeper into the earth than anyone ever has in human history. People speculated that this could cause earthquakes or even release demons and monsters from inside the Earth. They dug 40,230 feet, but had to stop because they couldn’t handle the heat. It was 180 degrees Celsius when they reached the bottom.

Project Mercury/Volcano

For a period of five years the Soviets detonated nuclear bombs deep underground, here’s why. By setting off powerful explosives underground the Soviets were hoping to disturb tectonic plates and electromagnetic fields in order to use them to cause earthquakes. If they were successful at this then they would be able to easily destroy the US, or any other country from a distance. Causing mass devastation on a scale never seen before. If other countries were eventually able to work out how to use the weapon as well, it could end with all of us simply destroying each other. Spectacularly this would also give the Soviets the power to cause volcanoes to form in areas of their choosing, the men working on this were truly mad scientists.


What some people might consider mad scientists at S.E.T.I. are currently attempting to communicate with alien life. If aliens were to intercept these broadcasts they could eventually make their way here, in theory, and then we could learn from them and share ideas. A darker view posits that the extraterrestrials may not be so friendly”If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans… We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.“ Stephen Hawing.

Weaponized Magnaporthe Grisea

The US experimented with creating a weaponised version of a fungus known as Magnaporthe Grisea. The fungus contaminated certain species of plants. The US wanted to be able to create bomb version of this which they could drop on enemy crops, and cause famines. If this disease were to spread too far, it could cause a famine, which would devastate large swathes of the world population. The experiments took place during the Cold War, so it’s likely that they wanted to use this disease to wreak havoc on Russian crops.

New Zealand’s Tsunami Bomb

New Zealand once attempted to build a weapon of epic proportions. They tried to create a literal tsunami bomb. By coordinating bombs to go off in specific places under the water, they hoped it would a tsunami to occur. Used properly, this would allow them to launch a tsunami against against an enemy state, causing mass devastation. If a device like this got out of hand the repercussions could have wiped out most human life on earth. The mad scientists worked on these experiments during the final year of World War Two. Fortunately the experiment failed, as they couldn’t force the explosive energy to travel in a horizontal direction.

Klebsiella Planticola Bacterium

A biotech company attempted to create a bacterium that would eat plant waste and turn it into alcohol. Which would have been amazing if it worked. It was tested painstakingly, and eventually was found to be safe for release. However, they had only ever tested it in sterile soil, and not in common soil. An academic at Oregon State University decided to test it in soil that was sterile, and saw the devastating effects. If this bacterium were released it could have potentially wiped out all life on earth. The bacterium killed every plant it came across in non-sterile soil, and if released may have done the same on earth.

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