Top 10 AMAZING Inventions Discovered By MISTAKE
Hello YouTube, Jim here! Have you ever accidentally done something really cool? We’re talking about those moments where you amazed even yourself and were ticked that nobody was around to see it? Like when you mean to make homemade macaroni and cheese and accidentally formulate the cure for the common cold! Hasn't happened to you, yet? Well, then we'll wait to include you in this installment, which is all about 10 Amazing Inventions Discovered by Mistake!
Without the curious discovery made by Sir Alexander Fleming in 1929, modern medicine would be quite a bit different. While working with staphylococcus bacteria, which is known for causing boils and sore throats, Fleming noticed one specific petri dish differed from the other samples. Where a spore of mold was growing, the young bacteriologist noticed the staphylococcus strain had died. Fleming took the discovery and ran with it, finding that the strain of mold, identified as Penicillium notatum, had the ability to kill a range of harmful bacteria. Though Fleming was behind the discovery, his use of it was minimal. It was Howard Foley and Ernst Chain that spearheaded the research that led to penicillin being used as a medicinal miracle.
With a name like Wilson Greatbatch, it was inevitable that the former medical researcher would contribute something, well, great to society; and in the 1950s, he did not disappoint. While tinkering with an oscillator built to record heart audio, Greatbatch accidentally put the wrong transistor in the device. Producing more power than other transistors, Greatbatch noticed the oscillator was emitting an electrical pulse in a similar matter to the human heart. While pacemakers have been around since the early 50’s, earlier designs were large and inconvenient or required batteries and were early forms of wearable technology. Greatbatch’s inadvertent discovery, which he spent 2 years perfecting prototypes of, allowed the device to survive inside the patient’s body.
Ferrock Concrete Substitute
Concrete is a fairly necessary commodity when it comes to structural integrity, but it comes with its own flaws. For instance, the production of it creates a fair amount of CO2, which scientists believe has been a significant contributor to global warming, but with how effective it has been in construction, how can we turn away from using it? While researchers have been trying to find a way to reduce CO2 emission from cement production, a University of Arizona student, David Stone, developed a suitable alternative over 13 years ago while he was experimenting with ways to keep iron from rusting. One of the byproducts of the experiment, originally thought to be a failed substance, wound up turning into a rock-hard substance overnight. On top of being solid enough to replace concrete, the substance, dubbed Ferrock, absorbs and traps CO2, which reacts with the iron to create iron carbonate.
In 1895, German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen changed the field of medicine forever, and he did so completely by accident. While testing to see if cathode rays from a Crookes tube could pass through glass without hindrance, a soft glow caught his eye. It was emanating from a chemically coated screen that should not have been affected by the cathode rays. Even when blocked by carbon paper or wood, the screen still glowed. Rontgen dubbed the new rays “X-Rays” since they were still an unknown mystery, and continued experimenting with them. After weeks of sheltered experimentation, Rontgen made another discovery – he could produce images of human body parts with these strange rays and, thus, came X-Ray imaging.
The Forever Battery
It sounds a little too good to be true, but if the accidental findings of researchers at the University of California prove to be accurate, then there may be an alternative to the batteries of today. The original study was aimed at replacing the liquid in lithium batteries with an electrolyte gel to create a “solid-state battery.” What they wound up producing was a battery that can be recharged over 200,000 times and last up to 400 times longer than more common batteries. The discovery relies on a manganese oxide coated gold nanowire protected by a layer of electrolyte gel, producing the impressive nanobattery.
Used in vehicles and by stunt performers, safety glass proved to be far more useful than Edouard Benedictus originally thought when he accidentally invented it in 1903. The artist, composer, writer, and part-time chemist was tinkering around with a bottle that had once contained plastic cellulose nitrate. The substance had evaporated over time and left a thin deposit along the inside of the flask, so when Edouard accidentally knocked it off the counter to the floor, it didn’t shatter as normal. Incidentally, a local newspaper had recently run a feature on automobile accidents, lending to the Frenchman’s idea to create a Triplex safety glass. Though the idea worked, automobile manufacturers were more concerned about cost than safety, but when World War I broke out, Edouard’s glass found a practical application in gas mask lenses.
The invention of the microwave oven changed the way home cooked meals are made forever, providing a quick and easy method of heating up food, but that wasn’t exactly what Percy Spencer was aiming for when he invented it. While working on a series of magnetrons for radars, he noticed something odd happening to the candy bar he had in his pocket – it had been melting. Thinking his nickname “Hot Pants” may have been more literal than he assumed, he soon realized it was the radiation that was actually cooking the candy bar. ‘Ole Hot Pants and a colleague then tried heating other foods, including popcorn kernels and an egg, before moving on to create the first microwave prototype. When his metal box and high density electromagnetic field generator proved effective, Spencer filed a patent on October 8th, 1945.
One wonders how someone can accidentally stumble across the proper ingredients for an explosive powder, and it’s all said to date back to 11 centuries ago. The legend is altered a little depending on who retells it, but the base of it revolves around either a Chinese cook or Chinese scientists. One version, probably the more popular, points to an attempt at creating an “elixir of life” for immortality. Many attempts were made, all including one common ingredient – saltpeter, or potassium nitrate. An unknown alchemist was said to have mixed 75 parts saltpeter with 15 parts charcoal and 10 parts sulfur, leading to an explosive material when exposed to flame. The volatile powder was used for firecrackers and fireworks in Chinese celebrations and, by 904 A.D., became a weapon of the Song Dynasty military.
Who doesn’t love Silly Putty? Nobody, that’s who! It’s a favorite childhood toy that serves no discernible purpose than to copy newspaper print, be stretched, and bounced on the floor. We should all thank World War II engineer James Wright who, while working to produce a cheaper substitute for synthetic rubber for wartime use, inadvertently devised the formula for Silly Putty. Through combining boric acid with silicone oil, Wright produced a substance that did stretch and bounce more than rubber, but also had the strange property of lifting print perfectly. While the government wasn’t interested in what he called “Nutty Putty,” the world seemed to be. Eventually, businessman Peter Hodgson took note of the popularity and re-branded the substance as “Silly Putty.”
If you're not a fan of at least one flavor or brand of potato chip, there might be something wrong with you. These little morsels of salty crunchiness, perfect when paired with sandwiches or lonely depressive nights, would not have been if not for the vindictive actions of one George Crum in 1853. According to legend, while working as a chef at Moon Lake Lodge in Saratoga Springs, New York, Crum grew weary of a customer’s complaint about soggy fried potatoes. In retaliation, Crum sliced up some potatoes as thin as possible, fried them, and then caked them with salt, so as to annoy the unnamed customer and have hopes of him not returning. To Crum's amazement, the patron loved them. A few years later in 1860, Crum opened his own restaurant, “Crumbs House”, and served tater chips on every table.