16 Scary Probes That You Don't Want Inside of YouS

The worst part of going to the doctor's is being poked and prodded with any number of terrifying probes and needles, but you probably haven't seen many of the really scary implements that are out there. Here are 16 crazy ones you probably don't want anywhere near you.


This is one of the two probes you'll be pierced with if you're shot by a taser. You'd probably be too busy being shocked to mind the puncture wound.

16 Scary Probes That You Don't Want Inside of YouS

Photo: Jeff Topping/Getty Images

This is an LED probe, used for photodynamic cancer therapy. In its tip are 144 tiny diodes that shine three times brighter than the sun.

16 Scary Probes That You Don't Want Inside of YouS

Photo: NASA/MSFC/E. Given/Getty Images

This is a 1922 Scherck Cystoscope, used to examine the bladder by way of insertion through the urethra. Obviously the whole thing doesn't go in there, but the unit contains a removable catheter, stainless steel probe, and a cloth-covered electrical cord to power the tiny light bulb.

16 Scary Probes That You Don't Want Inside of YouS

Photo: VCU Libraries

Two probes you're all too familiar with: a mouth mirror on the right, and a dental explorer, or sickle probe on the left. Open wide.

16 Scary Probes That You Don't Want Inside of YouS

Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

A set of Civil War-era tracheotomy tools, just begging to be jammed into a throat.

16 Scary Probes That You Don't Want Inside of YouS

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

These various probes and surgical implements are over 1,000 years old, found in the ruins of Pompeii. They look just as scary as ever.

16 Scary Probes That You Don't Want Inside of YouS

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

This hulking probe is a "sunviray" dental lamp, being shown off at the first international Exhibition of Light and Heat in Medicine in 1927.

16 Scary Probes That You Don't Want Inside of YouS

Photo: E Bacon/Getty Images

This obstetrics flatware was used to keep ladyparts healthy way back in the 1800s. Presumably they were a little less rusty then.

16 Scary Probes That You Don't Want Inside of YouS

Photo: Uni Leipzig/AP

This mirco probe is busy slicing through some corneal tissue during a LASIK procedure. Don't blink.

16 Scary Probes That You Don't Want Inside of YouS

Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

This ominous, claw-like setup is being used to monitor the brainwaves of a military casualty in 1940. It's probably not eating his thoughts, but it sure looks that way.

16 Scary Probes That You Don't Want Inside of YouS

Photo: Fox Photos/Getty Images

The Folding Pocket General Surgical Set, circa 1870 contains 14 different instruments needed for general surgery, and fits into a foldable leather case for the surgeon on the go.

16 Scary Probes That You Don't Want Inside of YouS

Photo: VCU Libraries

This periscope device is being used to locate a cancerous area somewhere in this woman's throat. After it's found, it'll be treated with the terrifyingly named 2,000,000 volt "Deep Therapy X-Ray Machine."

16 Scary Probes That You Don't Want Inside of YouS

Photo: Douglas Grundy/Three Lions/Getty Images

This is another set of scary, 19th century tracheotomy tools. The exception is the implement at the top left, an 18th century Trocar, used to bleed off built-up fluids or gasses inside the body.

16 Scary Probes That You Don't Want Inside of YouS

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

A selection of Civil War-era medical instruments, including those used for tonsillectomy and implements that have the awful-sounding name "perforators."

16 Scary Probes That You Don't Want Inside of YouS

Photo: Heritage Auctions

A set of 19th century urethral sounds, probes used to increase the diameter of the urethra by insertion. The sounds sit in a nice velvet-lined wooden case, as if they weren't utterly horrifying.

16 Scary Probes That You Don't Want Inside of YouS

Photo: VCU Libraries

This is a 20th century cataract surgery kit, containing an assortment of 25 different cutting tools with names like "lens spoons" and "lens tractors."

16 Scary Probes That You Don't Want Inside of YouS

Photo: VCU Libraries

Image research by Attila Nagy