Ah, science, that rigid bastion of learning! That noble goal!
John C Lilly was a renowned neuroscientist most famous for his creation of the sensory deprivation tanks. Important work which has yielded serious results. Then he wound up being worried about the Solid State Entity, a computer being which would destroy us all.
But between those two extremes, he tried to teach Dolphins how to talk. Sounds dumb? Nah, at the time, linguistics had a good (though wrong) theory that an animal could acquire, in theory, human language through maternal bonding.
How did it work out? Not great. The dolphin was sexually aroused by Margaret Howe, a ladyresearcher. So much so that they had to, er, apply hand relief to the dolphin's genital region. Yes. Science gave a dolphin a handy shandy. Does it get better? Yes. Lilly and Howe eventually dosed the dolphin, and each other, with LSD, gave it the five knuckle shuffle, then tried to teach it to understand English.
Now, not sure where you stand on that sort of thing but while a watery acid handy binge seems like a great time... I don't know its inductive to interspecies ESL lessons.
Was it all wasted on vanity? Hundreds and thousands of tax payer dollars wasted on a mad dream?
It lead to a film based on... and the greatest movie poster of all time.
At time of writing, the dolphin is missing. Presumed tripping balls