In the early 1900s, science ran amuck. It led to fascinating discoveries and terrible scientific advancements. Images in black and white have circulated ever since of the first atomic bomb testing, the captives of war, and one particular set of note: a Two-Headed Dog.
Both heads were alive, at least for a time—the result of one of the most outstanding Mad Scientists to ever live.
During the Soviet Era, Russia was at the highest point of many controversial things. They launched the first unmanned probe into space and had the first successful launches of human beings into crewed vehicles.
They also had the early catastrophic losses of said cosmonauts as their rockets failed, and the USSR led Chernobyl power plant created one of the worst nuclear disasters since World War 2.
One of the most important figures from the Soviet Union to lead a charge of good in the world was Vladimir Petrovich Demikhov.
Although he was ultimately remembered for his more grotesque experiments, like much of Russia’s checkered history, what he did laid the groundwork that helped the world more than it shocked or terrified it.
There is more to understand than just the horror-show-like images of dogs with two heads, both panting, both barking, and eventually, both belonging to the same unliving body. The man who made that monstrous vision was just as intriguing as a result:
10 Humble Beginnings
Vladimir was born in a peasant family on a farm in 1916. After his father died in the Russian Civil War, his mother prioritized his education as he grew up.
During this time, he took an interest in biology, specifically mammal circulatory systems. Even back then, his mind was on the work he would eventually do. It seems like he was destined to become the man he did.
9 Pavlov's Training
He was inspired further by Russian psychologist Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, famous for his work regarding behavioral conditioning in dogs. This, too, marked an eerie link to Vladimir’s future.
Where one man was an expert on the way dogs acted, Vladimir became an expert on how they lived and how to make them live beyond all expectations. They had the same middle name and went on to work with dogs in a way.