Top 10 Serendipitous Discoveries
Invention of coca-cola – A cool accident
John Pemberton, an American pharmacist wanted to cure his head ache. He mixed coca leaves and cola nuts that are normally used for treating head pains. By mistake, his lab accident mixed carbonated water along with the mixture. That came out as the first coke. Pemberton passed away in two years but now Coca-Cola sits as king in the empire of cool drinks.
Invention of chocolate cookies – A crunchy accident
Ruth Wakefield and her husband were owning a Toll House Inn. One day they fell short of Baker’s chocolate and so she chopped a chocolate bar in hopes that it would melt. However the pieces did not melt and stayed in the cookie resulting in today's America’s favorite Chocolate chip cookies.
Invention of Microwave oven – Favorable Culinary accident
Percy Spencer was a leading American scientist during the second world war. He was visiting a lab at Raytheon company and was standing in front of a tube emitting micro waves. Accidentally the candy bar which he had in his pocket melted which made Spencer to think about the use of radiation in kitchen. He then used corn flakes and got a tasty popcorn and thus emerged the concept of micro wave oven, now an integral part of every American cuisine.
Invention of Radioactivity – A powerful accident
Becquerel had an uranium enriched crystal in his lab and a photographic plate beside it. The plate started fogging but he imagined it was because of sunlight that the plate has fogged. However on a darker day when he removed the plate from his drawer, the photographic plate was found fogged, and the only possible reason would be the rays getting emitted from the uranium enriched crystal, thus giving rise to the concept of radioactivity.
Invention of Potato chips - A tasty accident
The primary reason for obesity in America is potato chips. The Americans tend to spend 7 billion dollars every year for those tasty chips. In 1853, George Speck Crum, had repeated complaints from a wealthy patron refusing to take the potato which was in French style. Annoyed, Speck sliced the potato into as many thinner pieces as he could and fried them in oil and served. Surprisingly, the patron ordered for another plate and the dish started to become famous emerging as potato chips of today.
Invention of Smart Dust – A smart accident
Jamie Link was working with silicon chips when one of them accidentally fell down and shattered into pieces. To his amazement, he found that the chips still transmitted signals. This lead to the discovery of smart dust, now being used in medical field to cure tumors.
Invention of Penicillin – An accident that made world strong
Alexander Fleming left a container of Staphylococcus bacteria accidentally uncovered when he went on for a vacation. Upon returning, he was astonished to find that there was mold on the culture which killed a lot of bacteria. The world’s first antibiotic was seen to work.
Invention of Velcro – A sticky accident
George De Mastral noticed cockleburs sticking on his dog’s fur perfectly and started to examine it with a microscope. He created surfaces with hooks and started testing with many materials. Finally he settled with nylon and called it as “velcro”.
Invention of matchstick – A flickering accident
John Walker, a British pharmacist found a lump of dried chemicals at the end of a stick and wanted to rip it off. When he tried to scrap it, a flame aroused, making him to ponder on the abnormal phenomenon. He used cardboard pieces initially and then however replaced it with wooden sticks and sold the match sticks with a sandpaper that would trigger fire.
Invention of pacemaker – A therapeutic accident
Wilson Greatbach, an American inventor was trying to record the heart beat sounds of animals at Cornell University. However he accidentally inserted a wrong transistor into the oscillator but was surprised to find that the device worked perfectly well, able to record heart beats. He then tuned the device and used it for humans.
Invention of dynamite – A regretting accident.
There was an explosion in Sweden which proved fatal for the younger brother of Nobel. They were working on stabilizing the explosive liquid, Nitroglycerine. One of the cans had accidentally exploded during transportation. He then found that keiselguhr was used to absorb the liquid and he mixed it with nitroglycerine creating dynamite. However his discovery was used in warfare. Dejected by his unhealthy contribution to the world, he included Nobel Peace Prize in his final will and wanted it to be awarded to people who promote peace between the nations.
Invention of popiscles – A frozen accident
In San Francisco, Frank Epperson was stirring a fruit-flavor soda and left it overnight along with the stirring stick. It was cold and the drink froze around the stick. Next day morning, Frank stood bewildered at the product. He took it in his hands and licked it. He sold the frozen lollipops for many years and had a great welcome when he served them at Neptune beach, which was an amazement park in California.
Invention of Viagra – A medical miracle
To cure anigma, Simon Campbell and David Roberts, the two pharmaceutical company researchers worked on a new drug. The drug was to have the potential of treating high blood pressure. However, when tested, the patients reported side affects. The drug was named Viagra and was called as a cure for erectile dysfunction disorder. It was later approved by US food and Drug administration.