The Robbers Cave Experiment

Back in the day, bizarre experiments were par for course, particularly in the field of psychology. One of these bizarre experiments was masterminded by Muzafar Sherif. Sherif was trying to prove the principles of realistic conflict theory. The theory is that separate groups that have opposing goals or have to compete for limited resources will inevitably become hostile with each other. To prove this point, Sherif pitted 22 boys, ages 11 and 12 and split into 2 groups, against each other. In other words, he fixed it so the two groups would get overly competitive.

The experiment consisted of a three-week camping scenario. Boys were given no contact with their parents throughout the experiment. For the first week, the boys were placed with their respective group and given activities that built camaraderie among them. Neither group had any idea the other existed. At the end of that week, the group saw each other from a distance.

Week two was perhaps the worst of the weeks. The groups were put into intense competition with each other. Whichever team one would get a group of coveted prizes, while the losers got nothing. This put the boys into hostile mode. There was only one set of prizes and each group was determined to get it. Sherif noted a lot of name-calling and hostility at this point. One team even burned the flag of the other team.

The last week of the experiment, the researchers put all of the boys together and had them work as one team toward a common goal. This seemed to restore their natural social behavior and some of them even made friends with members of the opposing team. So, as long as you make them work together at the end, it is cool to purposely make 22 adolescent boys go at it Lord of the Flies style.

The Bizarre Case of Benjamin Kyle

What is bizarre about Benjamin Kyle is that he is not real, but he is real. No, he is not fictional or dead. Benjamin Kyle is living the life of a character in a thriller. Some would probably say it was poorly written or unbelievable. The thing is that truth is at least as strange as fiction in this man's case.

Benjamin Kyle's true identity is unknown. Benjamin Kyle is not his real name, though it is the only name this roughly 60-year-old man knows. He is listed as missing, but the authorities know exactly where he is. He is unemployable, at least legally, as he has no social security number. He is treated as an American, though he could be from anywhere, despite his memories of growing up in America. Enough enigma for you?

Benjamin Kyle has amnesia and he was unlucky enough to get it while alone in 2004. It has currently been eight years since he came down with amnesia and still no one has claimed him. He was found behind a Richmond Hill Burger King on August 31, 2004. He was unconscious, facedown in the dumpster area. He had no identification, though he may have suffered a head injury. He had cataracts so bad he was nearly blind. The amnesia could be from mental illness or from a head injury, but he can remember no such thing. DNA tests and fingerprinting have turned up nothing. He is a man without a past.

Perak: The Spring Man of Prague

The Spring Man of Prague or "Perak" is some sort of man or creature who reportedly appeared in Czechoslovakia between 1939 and 1945. This being was very similar in both appearance and behavior to Spring-Heeled Jack of British legend. The reason for both of their names was their ability to jump over tall structures and the assumption that they did so with the help of springs or some other device.

Perak would supposedly jump out at people and scare them. This is decidedly less sinister than the cutting and terrorizing done by Jack, but there was a man reportedly attacking people with razors in Prague around the same time they say Perak was active, so the two legends may have merged. Either way, there seem to be no police records whatsoever of the Spring Man of Prague.

Interestingly, unlike with Spring-Heeled Jack, Perak was later portrayed as a hero in fiction. He was initially a figure who teased the SS who were occupying Prague at the time. Later, he went on to have other adventures, but his first appearance in fiction might give a clue as to why the Spring Man of Prague came about to begin with. Prague was then occupied by the Nazis, and its people were likely living in fear. It is not unusual that an urban legend spring, pun intended, from such circumstances.

Twin Cluster in Brazil Because of Nazi Doctor?

Candido Godoi is a relatively small town in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Only roughly six to seven-thousand people live there. However, they have a hugely inflated number of twins when compared to most of the rest of the world. Because of this, and the attention brought to the town by the Nazi "Angel of Death," this quiet little town is the focus of some disturbing and amazing theories. If true, it would be both horrifying and a game-changer for genetic science.

Ten-percent of all pregnancies in Candido Godoi result in twins. Only fewer than two-percent occur on most of the planet. This excess of twins has been around since near the beginning of the 20th century. A reported 34 of the original settlers were twins. This indicates that there is a genetic factor behind this deluge of twins. The rate began to increase in the early 1960s. This may indicate that the genes behind the twins is becoming more prominent in the population. It could also mean someone starting messing with the families there around that time.

Doctor Josef Mengele was a psychopath Nazi doctor who conducted experiments on prisoners at concentration camps during World War II. His particular area of interest was twins, on which his experiments were particularly gruesome. After World War II, he went into hiding. He first hid in his native Germany before fleeing to South America. While there, he is known to have lived in Brazil, which is also where he died. Historian and writer Jorge Camarasa posited that the twin birth rate in Candido Godoi was due to Mengele's presence in the area. In other words, he went there to play with twins some more. However, there is currently no evidence. There is only correlation.