In 1767 John Hunter took the yellowish penile discharge of a man he believed to have gonorrhea and rubbed it into a wound he'd created in his own penis.

He believed that gonorrhea and syphilis were two forms of the same disease. He was wrong.

[Very short thread]
At the time, both diseases were known as "the pox", despite different and distinct symptoms. Some were beginning to believe – correctly – that the two forms of pox were actually different diseases.
Hunter, however, thought that the difference in symptoms was a result of differences in the tissues infected. What's more, he was so confident he was willing to bet his own penis that he was correct.
In 1767, a patient presented to Hunter with what to most eyes would look like yellow penile discharge, but to Hunter looked like an awful lot like opportunity. He took some of that goo, and put it into puncture wounds he had created "[one] on the glans, the other on the prepuce".
His notes show that within a couple of days, he began to experience pain, redness, and itchiness on his penis, before going on to develop other classic (and uncomfortable) symptoms of gonorrhea.
Later, to his absolute delight, he went on to develop symptoms of syphilis – horrendous sores on his penis. As you can imagine, he was ecstatic.
He believed he had proved that the two forms of pox were actually the same disease. For fifty years, many were convinced of his discovery and thought that they would be able to prevent syphilis from developing by simply burning off gonorrhea sores with mercury. Which was wrong.
In reality, the reason why he had developed both forms of "pox" (really gonorrhea and syphilis) was that the patient whose penis pus he had partaken of was infected with both gonorrhea and syphilis.
He hadn't proved anything, nor advanced medical science – he had merely sat down and rubbed two painful venereal diseases into his own penis for absolutely no reason whatsoever, other than setting back research for around half a century.
It's worth noting that some historians believe that Hunter used somebody else as a subject for the experiment, which is worse.
It's also worth adding that he died in 1793 of an aortic aneurysm – possibly caused by tertiary syphilis which was found during his autopsy – still believing he was right.
If you or some other pervert in your life likes this sort of horrible information, I highly recommend this Xmas gift book (by me).…
Or get it for FREE* and read by Jay from the Inbetweeners

*with an audible trial…

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