The innards of the famed Universe 25 experiment, which saw a mouse paradise transform into a mouse catastrophe, is revealed in a hidden treasure posted on YouTube. The human population of the Earth has grown during the previous few hundred years, from an estimated one billion in 1804 to seven billion in 2017. Concerns have been made during this period that our population may outstrip our ability to produce food, resulting in widespread famine.
Some, such as the Malthusians, believed that when resources became scarce, the population would “control” itself by dying in large numbers until a sustainable population was established. As it turns out, innovations in farming, changes in agricultural techniques, and new farming equipment have provided enough food to sustain 10 billion people, but how that food is allocated has resulted in global famines and starvation. This may change as we consume our resources and the climate issue intensifies, but for now, we have always been able to create more food than we require, even if we lacked the will or ability to give it to those who require it.
While everyone was concerned about a scarcity of resources, one behavioral researcher in the 1970s wanted to know what would happen to society if all of our appetites and wants were satisfied. According to his research, the solution is a lot of cannibalism followed by the apocalypse. John B Calhoun set out to design a series of trials that would effectively attend to every rodent demand, and then measure the population’s response over time. The most renowned of the tests was dubbed Universe 25 in a spectacular manner.
He used four breeding couples of mice in this experiment and placed them within a “utopia.” The environment was created to eliminate issues that may otherwise lead to death in the wild. They had unlimited food thanks to 16 food hoppers connected by tunnels that could feed up to 25 mice at once, as well as water bottles above. Material for nesting was given.
The temperature was preserved at 68°F (20°C), which is the ideal mouse temperature for those of you who aren’t mice. The mice were chosen for their health and received from a breeding colony at the National Institutes of Health. To prevent any sickness from entering the universe, extreme measures were taken.
Furthermore, there were no predators present in the utopia, which makes sense. It’s not every day that something is characterized as a “utopia, but there were also lions there taking us out one by one.” The experiment began, and as expected, the mice used the time they would have spent seeking for food and shelter to engage in excessive sexual activity. The population quadrupled every 55 days as the mice crowded towards the most attractive region within the enclosure, where access to the food tunnels was easy.
When the population reached 620, the population doubled every 145 days, indicating that the mouse society was having issues. The mice were divided into groups, and those that were unable to find a place in these groups were left with nowhere to go. Calhoun noted in 1972, “In the usual sequence of events in a natural ecological system, somewhat more young survive to maturity than are required to replace their dying or senescent established colleagues.” “Those who cannot find social niches emigrate.”
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