Long before Dave the Spazz's pioneering experiments in human-simian musical interbreeding, former genocidal maniac Josef Stalin dreamed of creating a master race of ape-human warriors, according to The Scotsman (link here). Stalin went so far as to put Russia's top animal breeder, Ilya Ivanov, on the job:
Mr Ivanov's ideas were music to the ears of Soviet planners and in 1926 he was dispatched to West Africa with $200,000 to conduct his first experiment in impregnating chimpanzees.
Meanwhile, a centre for the experiments was set up in Georgia - Stalin's birthplace - for the apes to be raised.
Mr Ivanov's experiments, unsurprisingly from what we now know, were a total failure. He returned to the Soviet Union, only to see experiments in Georgia to use monkey sperm in human volunteers similarly fail.
A final attempt to persuade a Cuban heiress to lend some of her monkeys for further experiments reached American ears, with the New York Times reporting on the story, and she dropped the idea amid the uproar.
Mr Ivanov was now in disgrace. His were not the only experiments going wrong: the plan to collectivise farms ended in the 1932 famine in which at least four million died.
For his expensive failure, he was sentenced to five years' jail, which was later commuted to five years' exile in the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan in 1931. A year later he died, reportedly after falling sick while standing on a freezing railway platform.
Thanks Rebecca! Image by Jesse Crumb.