Russian sleep experiment

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Russian sleep experiment

Elizabeth Dumansky, Staff Writer

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We grow up learning that sleep is a necessity. Frequent naps and set bedtimes as a child were resisted, but never questioned. With something so routine programmed into our minds, we rest our heads every night without a second thought. What would happen to the human body if it were deprived of this “necessity?” In 2010, an imaginative web writer took to the internet to answer this very question. 

Entitled “The Russian Sleep Experiment,” the article was set in the 1940’s, featuring a group of Russian scientists and five test subjects who were willing to stay awake for 30 days with the assistance of a gas based stimulant. The subjects were supposedly political prisoners and were promised freedom following the completion of the experiment.

The article explains that, throughout the first five days, their conversations slowly grew darker and darker in tone. Next, they stopped talking entirely and began to demonstrate severe paranoia, followed by one subject screaming continuously The screaming later came to a halt when the subject tore his vocal cords. Soon after, the subjects began to whisper into the microphones hidden around the room and the one way mirrored portholes. The article explains that the captives began to completely ignore each other’s existence. Later, the subjects supposedly took pages from a book provided in the room and used their own feces to paste them over the glass portholes. 

After three days, all sounds stopped entirely, putting the scientists on edge. They checked the microphones routinely, which seemed to be in perfect working condition. On the 14th day, the scientists decided to use the intercom, something they said they would not do. According to the article, they announced, “We are opening the chamber to test the microphones; step away from the door and lie flat on the floor or you will be shot. Compliance will earn one of you your immediate freedom.” To this a calm voice responded, “We no longer want to be freed.” 

This chilling story grows in goriness. From exposed bones to cannibalistic actions, these subjects supposedly turned into sadistic monsters. At one point, a subject fought against sedatives for a surgery, begging to feel everything. After complying with his request, the scientists watched as the subject grinned during a seemingly agonizing surgery. 

Skeptics and believers alike took to the Internet to debunk or support this other-worldly record of the effects of extreme sleep deprivation. Rest assured, this is only a story published on a horror fiction website called “Creepypasta”. The author (who goes by “Orange Soda” on the website) did an amazing job describing this widespread piece of fiction. With a rating of 9.1/10 (out of 6,288 votes) it was so believable that people still question its legitimacy. 

In their story “The Russian Sleep experiment,” Orange Soda caused an Internet uproar. Although there might be a legitimate answer to what sleep deprivation can do to a person, this story provides an entertaining alternative to reality.