Science: Human Fly

How does a fly feel when sprayed with D.D.T.?

A laboratory worker (anonymous) who set out to answer this inhuman question reported the fly's feelings in the current British Medical Journal.

A year ago, experimenting to find out whether the potent insecticide would irritate human skin, the 30-year-old Briton painted his hands with D.D.T. dissolved in acetone. Then he kneaded some dough heavily impregnated with it. When his skin seemed none the worse, he considered the experiment complete, went on to other things. A few days later his arms and legs began to feel heavy. Soon they began to ache violently and "spasms...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!