Some Bizarre military experiments conducted in the 20th century are so incredible that they defy belief. These tests ranged from small-scale tactical nukes to spy cats, from laser tanks to aircraft carriers constructed from ice.

All of these unusual initiatives were, at one point or another, given serious consideration, and in some cases, they incurred expenses in the tens of millions of dollars before being abandoned.

Here is the List of 15 Bizarre Military Experiments that will shock you.

1. 1K17 – A Russian Laser Tank

Bizarre Military Experiments

number one on the list of Bizarre Military Experiments is when The USSR made a tank that could blind enemy vehicles or missiles, targeting systems with lasers, making them unable to do their jobs.

It was said that the 12 beams could hit many targets at once, but there was no proof that the tank worked.

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1992, the prototypes were finally ready. So, it’s possible that the tank worked, but the project failed because Russia was in a lot of trouble in the early 1990s. But it’s more likely that the idea just wasn’t possible with the technology that was around at the time.

2. Mobile Missile Silos

Bizarre Military Experiments
Photo: Convair/General Dynamics / Wikimedia Commons / No known restrictions

The inconceivable occurrence of a nuclear conflict raises numerous difficulties for strategists. One of these was how to prevent the destruction of nuclear weapons stocks by a first strike.

A unique approach was transporting missiles on a specially constructed rail network known as the Peacekeeper Rail Garrison.

In the 1980s, the unique concept was investigated in depth, and functioning models were constructed.

The disintegration of the Soviet Union, the sole serious nuclear threat, led to this bizarre military experiments cancellation in 1991.

3. Tactical Nuclear Weapons – Small tactical nukes developed during the Cold War

Bizarre Military Experiments

The United States conducted limited nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s and 1960s, one example of which is depicted here: the M-28 Davy Crockett Weapon System.

Using a fraction of a nuclear weapon’s destructive potential has been an intriguing thought for some time. If a good opportunity arose during the Korean War, President Eisenhower was willing to use nuclear bombs.

Although more experiments with tiny nuclear weapons were conducted, the use of tactical nuclear weapons in the field never occurred during the Korean War. With the threat of a Soviet invasion always present, Davy Crockett was stationed in the East.

It wasn’t very precise, but accuracy isn’t necessary when your payload is nuclear. The nuclear option was never used in battle and was only tested twice. The last time this weapon was used was in 1971.

4. 2B1 Oka – Huge self-propelled artillery

Bizarre Military Experiments

The 2B1 Oka was a huge self-propelled artillery unit that could fire shells up to 28 miles away at targets. Even though this much firepower would have been devastating, testing showed that there were many problems with the gun’s design.

When it fired, the recoil was strong enough to damage other parts of the vehicle, and the weight of the ammunition (more than 1,500 pounds) made the rate of fire very slow.

As rocket artillery got better, the idea was thrown out in 1960.

5. Object 279 -Soviet Union’s Tank Division for nuclear conflict.

Bizarre Military Experiments

In terms of tank design, the Soviet Union excelled. There were unsuccessful attempts to develop superheavy tanks before World War II.

The Wehrmacht (Nazi Germany’s unified armed forces) could not destroy T-34s quickly enough because of their massive production numbers and exceptional durability during the war.

After the development of nuclear weapons, the Soviet Union began planning for conflict in the atomic age and working on a nuclear-resistant tank.

The tank’s four treads and eleven inches of frontal armor made it practically invincible in battle, although it was never put to use that way.

However, difficulties with dependability and building costs prompted the Soviets to investigate lighter tank variants that would be considerably simpler to create. Object 279 was the only prototype ever created; it is currently on display in a museum in Russia.

6. TV-8 – An Amphibious Nuclear Reactor-Powered Tank

Submarines that run on nuclear power have been around since the Truman administration. In 1954, the USS Nautilus was put into service. But what about a nuclear-powered tank that can work both on land and in water? Almost, but not quite.

In 1955, the Chrysler Corporation came up with the idea of a tank that would use much less gas. But the idea wasn’t seen as a big enough improvement over what was already out there to be worth pursuing. In 1956, the idea was thrown out.

7. The Antonov A-40 Tanker Glider – A Soviet Design During WWII

Bizarre Military Experiments

The Antonov A-40 was made so that a tank could glide onto the battlefield and then take off its wings once it was there. If this had worked, the Russians would have been able to help partisan efforts behind enemy lines with armored support.

But the test failed, and it became clear that the plane wasn’t strong enough to pull the glider fast enough.

8. The USS ‘Akron’ – what ?? A Flying Aircraft Carrier!!

Bizarre Military Experiments

They were sluggish, cumbersome, and easy targets for enemy planes; airships were a bad idea. In the years between World Wars I and II, researchers toyed with the idea of utilizing airships as mobile defensive and reconnaissance bases.

On April 4, 1933, tragedy struck when the USS Akron crashed due to severe weather, killing 73 of the ship’s 76 crew members. The USS Macon, another airship, also vanished while trying to return to California.

9. The Panjandrum – A Rocket-Propelled Rolling Bomb Intended For D-Day

Bizarre military experiments The Panjandrum

The Panjandrum was meant to be used on D-Day to break through the strong defenses of the Atlantic Wall, which the Germans built during WWII.

The device was supposed to be dropped by a landing craft and rolled toward the target with the help of rockets. 

Once it reached the target, it was supposed to explode and make a hole before the main attack.

It was an interesting idea, but tests showed that it didn’t work at all. The rocket system wasn’t very reliable, and the device never seemed to move in the direction it was supposed to. After tests that didn’t work in 1944, the project was put on hold.

10. Skeleton Tank – A light machine made at the end of World War I

Bizarre Military Experiments

Near the end of WWI, the USA made the Skeleton Tank a lighter alternative to the unreliable heavy tanks that the British and French used.

The tank went through field tests in October 1918, right as the war was coming to an end. However, it never got past the prototype stage.

11. Bat Bombs – Small incendiary bombs dropped on Japanese cities during World War II.

Bizarre Military Experiments

A dentist named Dr. Lytle S. Adams came up with the idea of putting tiny fire-starting devices on bats. He did this because he knew that most Japanese cities were made of wood.

The plan was to drop a canister (shown) that had a few Mexican free-tailed bats inside and let them out as it fell. The bats would then put down roots in the attics and roofs of Japanese buildings, and the bombs would go off, causing chaos.

Armed bats were accidentally let out of an airbase in New Mexico during tests, which caused a fire. Other problems also arose.

The results of later tests were much better, but the project was moving too slowly to be ready for use in the field. In the end, the plan was thrown out in the summer of 1944.

12. Project Iceworm – Hidden Nuclear Storage Facilities in Greenland

Project Iceworm in Bizarre military experiments

A secret place to launch nuclear weapons buried under the ice: It sounds like something from a James Bond movie, but in the 1960s, the US military tried to set up several secret launch sites in Greenland.

Using a fake project called Camp Century, which was supposed to be built for polar research, the Danish government was kept in the dark about the real reason for the building.

The goal of Project Iceworm was to put more than 600 nuclear missiles close enough to the Soviet Union to hit it. When it became clear that conditions were too unstable for the facility to work in 1966, the project was canceled.

If the ice sheet melts because of rising temperatures, a long-abandoned nuclear plant and tons of waste could be exposed. This could cause a disaster for the environment.

13. Project Star Gate – 1970s CIA mind readers

In the list of CIA’s Bizarre military experiments, this one definitely has a place. instead of a pic, you might wanna use your imagination.

The crazy plot of the 2009 movie The Men Who Stare at Goats was based on a true story. In the 1970s, the CIA hired men and women in California and Maryland who claimed to be able to discover military secrets through extrasensory perception.

The program ran from 1972 to 1995. After 1991, it was called the Stargate Project or Project Star Gate.

In 1995, when the CIA decided that the experiments had not led to anything useful, they stopped the project and made it public.

14. Project Habakkuk – British idea for ice aircraft carriers

Bizarre Military Experiments

During WWII, it was hard for the British to get steel, so Project Habakkuk looked into the idea of putting a landing strip on a block of ice.

It was actually more expensive than building a normal aircraft carrier, and by 1944, long-range planes had made the project impossible.

15. Acoustic Kitty – CIA’s Spy Cat.So Bizarre 

Bizarre Military Experiments

Talk about the Bizarre military experiments it doesn’t get more bizarre than this.

Any cat owner will tell you that it’s impossible to get a cat to… well… anything at all! But that didn’t stop the CIA from spending more than $20 million trying to use cats to spy.

The idea was that a cat with a tiny microphone and transmitter put in by surgery could listen in on the Kremlin and Soviet embassies worldwide.

The first and only test with the surgically improved cat was a disaster. The poor cat got lost and was hit by a taxi after only a few minutes. As the plan went on, it became shockingly clear that cats aren’t easy to train. The following can be learned from the experiment’s declassified files: