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Portraits Drawn During an Experiment Involving the Effect of Drugs in the 1950s

Before the hippy revolution.

Before the hippy revolution.

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Before the hippy movement, the drug really wasn’t widespread at all.

During the 1950s however, a University of California-Irvine psychiatrist gave an artist two 50-microgram doses of LSD (each dose separated by about an hour). The researcher, Oscar Janiger, was known for his work on acid.

The artist was consequently asked to draw pictures of the doctor who administered the drugs.

Nine portraits were drawn over the space of eight hours, and so have a look at these wacky results:

20 minutes after first dose. Artist claims to feel normal


85 minutes after first dose. Artist says, “I can see you clearly. I’m having a little trouble controlling this pencil.”


2 hours 30 minutes after first dose. “I feel as if my consciousness is situated in the part of my body that’s now active – my hand, my elbow… my tongue.”


2 hours 32 minutes. “I’m trying another drawing… The outline of my hand is going weird too. It’s not a very good drawing is it?”


2 hours 35 minutes. Patient follows quickly with another drawing. “I’ll do a drawing in one flourish… without stopping… one line, no break!”


2 hours 45 minutes. Agitated patient says, “I am… everything is… changed… they’re calling… your face… interwoven… who is…” He changes medium to Tempera.


4 hours 25 minutes. After taking a break, the patient changes to pen and water colour. “This will be the best drawing, like the first one, only better.”


5 hours 45 minutes. “I think it’s starting to wear off. This pencil is mighty hard to hold.” (He is holding a crayon).


8 hours later: The intoxication has worn off. Patient offers up a final drawing.


Pretty incredible right? What a weird and wonderful trip that must have been. It really shows how messed up drugs are, and the crazy affects they can have on us humans.

The experiment has been re-created countless times over the years, but this one really blows your mind!

For another cool story check this out!

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