You'll Be Shocked To Learn These Major Discoveries Happened By Accident

Here's how the products you use came to be.

Science is a game of hypothesizing, experimenting and drawing conclusions. 

But every now and then, scientific discovery can surprise you and land squarely in your lap, whether you meant it to or not. In fact, many of the most well-known utilities, tools, drugs, foods and theories were developed by pure accident. A video by popular YouTube channel AllTime10s highlighted ten of the most monumental scientific discoveries that happened by accident. 

Here they are listed below, and to see AllTime10s video scroll to the end. 


10. LSD

When Albert Hoffman accidentally absorbed Lysergic acid diethylamide, more commonly known as LSD, through his skin in 1943, a counter-culture of hallucinogenic drugs got a shot of momentum. LSD was meant to help with respiration, but Hoffman had dismissed it in 1938 after seeing little use for it. He re-visited the drug years later, and when he experienced intense hallucinations after absorbing it, everything changed. 

9. Play-doh

Originally, it was a putty meant to clean wallpaper during an era where people burnt coal and left soot on their walls. But after World War II, there was no need for it with gas heating in homes. Kutol, the founding company, got wind that children enjoying playing with the product, and quickly re-branded themselves and colored the putty, with incredible success. 

8. Popsicles

Frank Epperson was 11 years old when he accidentally left a frozen carbonated drink concoction on his porch overnight. It just so happened he had been stirring the drink, and when he woke up in the morning the now-frozen treat became the first popsicle on a stick. Today, more than 2 billion popsicles are sold every year. 

7. X-Ray

Yes, one of the most important inventions of our time was actually not meant to help detect and heal broken bones, injuries or diseases. Wilhelm Röntgen first noticed unknown rays coming out of a jar that he thought was covered in his laboratory in 1895. After experimenting with the "X-Rays" he decided to lay a film between rays and whatever he shined them on, creating the first ever X-Ray. 

6. Anesthesia

Rich people were inhaling nitrous oxide at "laughing parties" in the 1800s when the dentist Horace Wells witnessed a man seriously injure himself and not feel any pain. Later, Wells decided to try removing one of his teeth after inhaling the nitrous oxide, and when he didn't feel any pain the idea of using it was a pain suppressant was born. 

5. Microwave Oven

Percy Spencer noticed that a candy bar in his pocket began melting while he ran a "microwave beam" as a test for radar transmitters. Soon after, he used the heating properties on popcorn, which yielded the results you are probably familiar with. Now, 90 percent of American households own a microwave.    

4. Viagra

When pfizer tried to lower blood pressure with a new drug, they started getting reports of surprising side effects: erections. it seemed the drug could treat people with erectile dysfunction, so Pfizer re-organized and began exploring it as medicine. Now, it's one of the fastest selling drugs of all time. 

3. Sanitary Towels

Originally used in World War I to dress wounds, an innovation in the material called cellucotton made the bandages far more absorbent. But it was Kimberley Clark and nurses on the battlefield who discovered that the bandages could be used during their periods, hence the popularized pads that ladies use today. 

2. Corn flakes

This one is a bit more bizarre. John Harvey Kellog believed that sex caused a myriad of health issues. To combat this, he tried to create an "anti-masturbatory" granola, since he believed a diet of plain foods would help. In 1898, they accidentally burned a batch of that granola, becoming the first people to learn to flake grain and thus creating one of the world's most popular snacks. 

1. Penicillin

Alexander Fleming nearly through out the peculiar petri dish that held the secret to combating so many diseases we face today. Fortunately for us, Fleming noticed that the mold inside was combating the bacteria around it, rather than being surrounded. He experimented with the fungi until 1938, when Dr. Howard Florey took over his work and perfected the new antibiotic. Some studies estimate penicillin has since saved 200 million lives. 

Check out AllTime10s full video here:

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