Top 10 Mad Scientist Fails

Victor Frankenstein
All those pee jugs should give you some indication of Victor's obsession. He hasn't left the lab in weeks! TriStar/Getty Images

Most mad scientists slave away their entire lives in pursuit of godlike powers. Victor Frankenstein managed to attain them in his mid-20s. Doesn't that piss you off?

Between 1792 and 1796, Victor created a unified theory of modem biochemistry and medieval alchemy. He unraveled the secrets of life itself and imbued not one but TWO patchwork corpses with the spark of consciousness. Then, at age 26, he abandoned his career just as quickly as he'd picked it up, scrapping all his notes without so much as a single publication.

To be perfectly accurate, Victor abandoned mad science on two separate occasions -- and the first was a bit of a mess. The moment his scrap-built "creature" gasped its first breath, Victor developed the worst case of cold feet in the history of mad science. Oh sure, he was perfectly fine with all the grave robbing and corpse stitching, but the instant it all came to monstrous life? Forget about it.

So Victor ran away, at least until his lonely creation tracked him down and demanded a female companion. Not surprisingly, that ended in disaster as well. Several murders later, the relationship between deadbeat maker and brooding monster deteriorated into a deadly pursuit across Arctic wastes.

The lesson: Victor simply wasn't mad enough. He achieved too much too fast and simply couldn't cope with the sort of horror that more experienced mads cope with every day. Do you think H.P. Lovecraft's Herbert West worries about the blasphemies in his cellar? No way. Monstrosity comes with the job, so get used to it.

Further study: Read Mary Shelley's immortal classic and explore HowStuffWorks' own "How Frankenstein's Monster Works."