John Calhoon Rat Experiments

StumbleUpon has led me to so many interesting things!!  Check it out if you haven't already!

Here's an interesting page I found there recently:


Death By Utopia


You can read all of the details at but I'll try to encapsulate some of it for you.  

All quotes offered here are from that article.

In 1947 researcher John Calhoon began experimenting with rats.  

Before you start thinking too much about that I'll plow on.     : )

He allowed their populations to grow into the spaces they were confined to and observed their behavior.

As they grew into an area and began to over-populate it...their behavior began to dramatically change.

Both males and females became much more aggressive and began attacking each other including their own young breaking into "pointless and sporadic violence".

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"Females stopped reproducing and even started attacking their own young. Mortality rose phenomenally. Roaming mice either attacked or attempted to mount others, irrespective of relation or gender, cannibalism and other acts of depravity consumed them."

"Then there were the ‘beautiful ones.' ". 

"The ‘beautiful ones’ withdrew themselves ever so quietly, removing themselves from the sick society. Solitary pursuits began to define them; eating, drinking and grooming among others. No scars on their back or hairs out-of-place, these mice behaved like a separate race. They saw the world through their narrow scopes, as they tossed, turned and tried to cope."


"In the end the population sank, even when it was back down to a tolerable level none of the mice changed back.   The change was irreversible, the mice were different now."

"This tipping over into irreversible societal collapse came to be known as ‘The Behavioral Sink.’ John Calhoun called it the first death. Death of the mind and soul, leading eventually to the second death, of the physical form. What he meant was that after the first death, the mice were no longer mice and could never be so again."


"In spite of this many believe Calhoon's research has brought positive changes to our world!"

"For the first time in history, over 50% of the world population exists within cities, and they are safer than ever before, due in part to the ideas drawn from John B. Calhoun and his pungent rodents. His 1973 paper has been classed as one of the 40 most influential psychology papers of all time, and with good reason, it may have indirectly saved thousands of lives."

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