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Universe 25 Experiment

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A Great Study Proving How Things Get Ugly As The Population Grows: Universe 25 Experiment

The ‘Universe 25’ experiment conducted by John B. Calhoun, which started with observing the living of 8 mice in a restricted area, is striking in terms of showing the problems that mice experience as they multiply. The course of this study, which is so similar to the course of humanity, is also very worrying considering the future.

The concept of “behavior bog”, john b. Calhoun’s conclusion from his closed world for mice in a lab environment in 1972.

John Calhoun's Mouse Utopia universe 25 experiment

Imagine an aquarium with a base of 2.5 meters by 2.5 meters and a wall height of 90cm. On each wall, there are 16 tunnels adhering to the wall, vertical up to 50 cm above the ground and 4 rooms in each tunnel. So, 64 per wall, 256 rooms in total. Even if choke-full, 20 mice per room. If we consider the courtyard roughly, it is an environment where 5-6 thousand mice can fit in volume, the temperature is fixed at 20 ° C and there are two unlimited sources of clean water. This is the world of mice. Of course it is not difficult to understand why there is a closed world, considering that there is a 40cm bare wall after the top room.

population on the 1st day of this world; 4 male, 4 male and 8 female mice that were lived alone to ensure that they did not carry any disease.

Universe 25 Experiment 2

These lucky 8; They reigned for 104 days in their own world, which did not intervene except for the pouring of dried fruits and nuts from the top of the tunnels every day and the floor shavings renewed every 6 weeks. After they have taken control of the environment and adapted, the first member of the second generation was born on the 105th day and the population has been 9. After that, they looked and said “no problem”, they increased the gear and doubled the population every 55 days, and reached a population of over 600 on the 315th day.

At this point, the idea of ​​running up and down from morning to evening, eating – drinking in prosperity, and being a happy family starts to be disrupted and things start to get ugly slowly.

As the number of mice increases, the feed given increases. The reason why peace brakes is not starvation, it is crowded. Every newborn mice is already born in a very crowded environment, and if its lifetime is enough, it witnesses an even more crowded environment. Male mice, whose number of competitors are constantly increasing, are having a hard time protecting their nested areas. Those who go from the strain to the failure phase quit the job and start to hang out in the courtyard instead of their own region.

Universe 25 Experiment

The first violence shows up in this “stuck in the middle of the aquarium like lost youth” team. some mice start attacking others, bites, and chasing after them. Attacked mice adapt to the environment after a while and they do not hesitate to attack others. Once in a while they go upstairs, some unprotected mice are killed and their nests are taken away. Some females begin to live alone and eat some of their offspring. The number of newborns abandoned and died before they grow up is increasing. Few mice (Calhoun calls them “beautiful ones”) settle in the rooms on the top floor, and some even try to block the entrance to the room. They stop mating after a while and complete their lives with just eating, drinking and sleeping habits. In the rest of the commune; Cannibalism, child killing and violence are increasing day by day – like disease. Most male mice act as one-father-monkeys in the monkey groups and try to fuck all the females they see. Naturally, this sexual life that men cannot share except for food causes them to fight regularly and kill each other. Sense of trust leaves the environment and the mouse society begins to collapse.

2200 mice, the peak of the population, are reached on day 560. At this point, a population decline -that is getting faster and faster- begins. On the 610th day, the population drops below 100. And the final population; The mice that lost-one’s-marbles and hid themselves, tried to live alone in the upper rooms, and the winners of the bloody game below.

I think this is the most interesting part of the experiment

This society is not recovering again. In other words, there is no such thing as not passing through corpse and disease. In the cleaning made every 6 weeks, corpses on the ground are also collected. In fact, the last 100 mice left live in almost the same conditions as 100 mice on day 250. With the death of the last female on the 650th day, this closed world is filling its time and the 8 lucky dynasties become history. You might say the reason is the past experiences of violance or the shame of eating each others children.

Although this experiment was mostly used for population planning propaganda, what we actually call the “behavioral sink” is the concept that society is beginning to get ugly. It can happen in most scenarios where circumstances begin to deteriorate.

More information for John Calhoun’s :


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