For those who think that necessity is the mother of all inventions, think again. You would be amazed to know how most of the major inventions were born out of pure accidents – from the snacks you eat to the things you use in your mundane, daily life.
Remember how Professor Utopium accidently put the dreaded “Chemical X” to his perfect ingredients of “sugar, spice and everything nice” and ended up creating Powerpuff Girls? Well, the inventions listed below were, too, created by complete accidents. From coming up with the formula of coke while trying to create a medicine for headaches to accidently inventing post it notes while creating a strong adhesive, these inventions would make you love the strokes of fate.
As you can see, fate truly does work in mysterious ways. Don’t you just love serendipity?
1. X Ray
It was the year 1895 and German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen was experimenting through glass cathode ray tubes when he observed something absurd. Rontgen noticed that the tube glowed even though it was surrounded by a black cardboard and was kept across the room. He realized that some kind of radiation must be at play for this to occur and therefore named the phenomenon “X Rays” where “x” stood for the unknown and unexplained nature of the radiation. He later captured his first X-Ray image which was that of his wife’s left hand. Her baffled wife exclaimed upon laying eyes on her skeletal image, “I have seen my own death!”
While surgeries have become increasingly common in today’s day and age, there was a time when surgeries were excruciatingly painful that patients chose to rather commit suicide than bear this drudgery. However, it was only when Dr. Horace Wells made a discovery that changed the course of surgeries forever. In 1844, Dr. Horace Wells attended an exhibition where audience members made fool of themselves while being intoxicated by laughing gas or nitrous oxide. On seeing one of the members injuring his leg, Wells asked him if he was hurt but the person surprisingly remarked that he didn’t feel anything! Wells was soon convinced that nitrous oxide could be used as an anesthetic. However, many labeled this invention as a “humbug” and were quick to dismiss it. It was only after a few years when it was realized that ether was a perfect anesthetic for surgeries.
Who would have thought while casually sipping on Coke that it was, in fact, originally invented with the motive of curing headaches. In 1886, Dr. John Pumberton was trying to invent a medicine to cure headaches but instead ended up making a deliciously addictive drink. Initially being sold at only the drug store for five pence per glass, the Coke became so popular that it began to be sold in bottles and became a refreshing beverage for children and adults alike.
Sometimes known as a “careless lab technician”, Sir Alexander Fleming was returning from a two week vacation when noticed something rather absurd on one of his petri dishes. He observed the growth of a mysterious mold and noticed the existing bacteria in the dish did not grow where the mold grew. This made him realize that it helped keeping the unwanted bacteria at bay. Thirteen years after the discovery and with the help of a few researchers who devised a way to come up with a mold that grew better – anti-biotic medicines were created.
5. Ink Jet Printer
The principle behind inkjet printers is attributed to a canon engineer whose discovery led to revolutionizing the world. As ludicrous as ir sounds, the engineer mistakenly put his smolderingly hot iron rod on his ink, and was soon dumbfounded when the pen began ejecting ink moments later. It was not long before this principle was applied to invent inkjet printers and thus, life became a whole lot easier!