snake pit

noun Informal.
a mental hospital marked by squalor and inhumane or indifferent care for the patients.
an intensely chaotic or disagreeable place or situation.
Also, snakepit.

1945–50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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snake pit

1. any place of pain and turmoil; "the hell of battle"; "the inferno of the engine room"; "when you're alone Christmas is the pits"; [syn: hell
2. pejorative terms for an insane asylum 
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
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Example sentences
Or maybe they gave up on the world of chemistry as a snake pit where politics matters more than sound scientific methodology.
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