It doesn't hurt that many of these experiments are conducted by men considered by most to be a few bricks short of a full load, if you know what I mean. Here's a good example from Listverse.
Photo credit: Joseph Wright of Derby
Chemistry is known today as a factual and difficult science, but its early days were filled with decidedly unscientific methods. Before the arrival of proper chemistry, it was the science of alchemy which reigned supreme. Alchemy held the belief that some substances could be transmuted into gold. In 1669, an alchemist named Hennig Brand convinced himself of the possibility of transmuting urine into gold. He quickly gathered the pee of his wife and her friends and began a process of boiling 5,700 liters (1,500 gal) of urine in his basement.
Brand didn’t discover the secret to creating gold, but the boiled urine did have the odd attribute of glowing in the dark. After utilizing an alchemical process which involved letting the cold, glowing urine sit and emit gasses, Brand finally arrived at a white substance which we know today as phosphorus.
See what I mean? Many times it was like the old saying "the porch light is on, but no one is home!" Kids...don't try this at home!
Coffee out on the patio again today. Spring type weather still around.