Mad scientists have a knack for creating monsters. Some help out but most destroy major cities and kill a lot of people. Not every one on this list has smashed Tokyo, but they were all created through mad uses of science.
I’m a sucker for Godzilla. Not the recent take with giant critters just waking up one day and wrecking San Francisco. But the original version. A cute little iguana is sunning itself when a nuke blows up its atoll.
Then it mutates into a giant, radioactive, fire-breathing behemoth.
You could argue Adam is a chimera: A monster made by splicing together demons and monsters with human body parts, but I think he’s something a bit different. He might be closer to a Frankenstein. Adam kept his human core and had the monster bits grafted while he was alive. He didn’t get rejuvenated by lightning, nor was he genetically spliced.
Anyway, he and his monster friends created all sorts of trouble for Buffy and the Scoobies.
A classic, man-made monster. Dr. Frankenstein dug up a bunch of dead people to make his monster. He also made a bride for his monsters (it didn’t go so well). When we talk about mad science and monsters, Frankenstein’s Monster always gets a spot.
These zombies are some of the newest monsters on the block. In this version, scientists genetically modify viruses. In most cases, this is an unintended consequence: The virus continues to mutate into something else, and people get infected. They’re not really dead like in 28 Days Later, Resident Evil and World War Z.
I can totally see how modifying something that likes to modify itself is worrisome.
Back to radioactive mutants with giant insects. Them! sums up what can happen with nuclear testing and dumping radioactive waste. The little guys become giant, man-eating monsters. Some other classic giant insects include spiders, praying mantises and Mothra from the Godzilla series.
The Terminator movies set this up and I wouldn’t be surprised if they end the world. I think artificial intelligence (AI) will take over, see humanity as a threat or vermin, then take decisive action. Since it can outsmart us, I’m not sure we’d be able to stop them. The AI can hack through anything because it’s the hack itself.
Please put the breaks on the code if it thinks for itself. I mean, it’s all cold and logical and without empathy. You kinda need empathy when dealing with humans. They screw up a lot. Just sayin’.
Scientists like to combine different bits to build more resilient organisms. Think about genetically modified foods: Throw in some bumblebee DNA to make your corn more resistant. Sounds good on paper.
And then you splice together some babies in a lab like that Chinese geneticist.
Chimeras are just that: GMO humans. You could get some scorpion-derived human with the instincts of the scorpion coming through. I do not want to be around to get stung by that.
In the original book, Dr. Jekyll creates the serum to better control his evil nature. But it transforms him into something else. This sounds like the reason we have clinical trials for new drugs.
Anyway, any biochemist could create a new compound, inject some humans, and observe the effects. It sounds more like a narcotics dealer than a scientist. But Cloak & Dagger got their powers from something like that.
Mind you, I don’t want to be one of those test subjects, even if I could throw light daggers.
Jacob Rice began investigating and writing about monsters in 2007. He has published 3 books on ghost hunting, ghost stories and paranormal protection. His podcast, Ghostly Activities, dives into these topics even more. You can also watch his ghost hunts on the Ghostly Activities YouTube channel. He lives in Olympia, Washington.