The “Universe 25” experiment, conducted by American scientist John Calhoun, is considered one of the most terrifying experiments in the history of science. Through the behavior of a colony of mice, Calhoun attempted to explain human societies and the potential for social collapse.
Calhoun built the so-called “Paradise of Mice”, a specially designed space where rodents had an abundance of food and water, as well as a large living space. He placed four pairs of mice that in a short time began to reproduce, resulting in their population growing rapidly. However, after 315 days their reproduction began to decrease significantly. When the number of rodents reached 600, a hierarchy was formed between them and then the so-called “wretches” appeared.
The larger rodents began to attack the group, with the result that many males began to “collapse” psychologically. As a result, the females did not protect themselves and in turn became aggressive towards their young. As time went on, the females showed more and more aggressive behavior, isolation elements and lack of reproductive mood. There was a low birth rate and, at the same time, an increase in mortality in younger rodents. Then, a new class of male rodents appeared, the so-called “beautiful mice”.
They refused to mate with the females or to “fight” for their space. All they cared about was food and sleep. At one point, “beautiful males” and “isolated females” made up the majority of the population.
According to Calhoun, the death phase consisted of two stages: the “first death” and “second death.” The former was characterized by the loss of purpose in life beyond mere existence — no desire to mate, raise young or establish a role within society. As time went on, juvenile mortality reached 100% and reproduction reached zero. Among the endangered mice, homosexuality was observed and, at the same time, cannibalism increased, despite the fact that there was plenty of food. Two years after the start of the experiment, the last baby of the colony was born. By 1973, he had killed the last mouse in the Universe 25. John Calhoun repeated the same experiment 25 more times, and each time the result was the same.
Calhoun’s scientific work has been used as a model for interpreting social collapse, and his research serves as a focal point for the study of urban sociology. It raises important questions about the effects of overpopulation and societal pressure on individuals and the potential for collapse in human societies. It is worth noting that although the experiment was conducted on mice, it is important to consider the potential implications for human societies and to be cautious about drawing direct parallels.
Currently, we are witnessing direct parallels in today’s society with weak, feminized men with little to no skills and no protection instincts, and overly agitated and aggressive females with no maternal instincts. While it is important to consider Calhoun’s findings and the potential for social collapse, it is also important to remember that human societies are complex and that there are many factors that contribute to societal dynamics.