Mistakes are part of our lives. All the mistakes we make will have some consequences. The main thing is to bring out the positive from it and learn to do better next time. But some of these mistakes have changed the history all together that has given us something that has helped us learn a lot. Many a time such mistakes and miscalculations lead to a new invention and this has led to what we have today which changed the history. So let’s take a look at the 10 biggest screw ups that completely changed history:
10 Killing an old tree
Donal Rusk Currey who accidentally killed one of the oldest trees of all. This definitely was a huge discovery as the tree was about 5,000 years old. This incident basically took place in 1964, and till now there isn’t a tree that has been discovered to be this old. Donald Rusk Currey has actually got his tree corer stuck so a park ranger helped him to remove it by cutting the tree down. This made a great history.
The tree which was taken down accidentally was a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine. He discovered the age of tree by counting the rings, which has been criticized by many, as they say that each ring doesn’t mean a year and that there are many other techniques that would have been more effective.
9 When Alexander Fleming Forgot to clean his lab
This was a world changing history which has helped doctors to treat bacterial illnesses. This discovery was made by Alexander Fleming who forgot to clean the petri dish which was filled with staphylococcus bacterium except for one part or spot on that dish which was contained with mold. This mold destroyed all the bacteria and later was acknowledged as penicillin.
The finding on this was published in 1929. This drug was then tested on lab rats and later on humans. Like for this one man who had got a severe cause of infection on his face through a scratch was treated with penicillin injection and it got him better. Countless lives have been saved by penicillin especially during World War II, and it was made available in several pharmaceutical companies. This discovery has been a medical revolution.
8 Discovery of Plastics
Discovery of plastic has been a huge process and was led to by a mistake which has been helpful to us. As imagine if you had to carry a bottle of clay or water holder made from animal blood or eggs. This happened mainly because of two mistakes made by Charles Goodyear and John Wesley Hyatt. This mistake let to a great change in today’s world.
Charles Goodyear had mixed rubber and sulfur, which he left on stove for some time by mistake. When he got back he saw that the material had become tough and durable. This process was said to be as Vulcanization. The second one was by John Wesley Hyatt who was having a contest for $10,000 prize for the one who could replace an elephant ivory to billiard balls. Hyatt here by mistake spilled a bottle full of collodion which is a natural substance which dried into a flexible and strong material. In 1872 his brother Isaiah gave the name to it as Celluloid which came out to be a successful commercial for plastic.
7 Attack on Pearl harbor by Japanese
This was led by an accident when Japan attacked United States. This changed the world’s history. Japanese Aircraft had destroyed the United States Pacific Fleet, causing death of countless lives.
This attack changed everything. Everyone joined hands to fight and save their country. Hundreds and thousands of them joined the Army to serve the nation.
6 Corn flakes
Kellogg’s Corn flakes has become one healthier and popular cereal. In today’s world certainly, Dr. John Kellogg with his brother Will Keith would have been a perfect fit for health freaks. They were known as the health weirdo who ran a hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan. They had some weird health beliefs at sanitarium such as prohibition of tobacco, meat, alcohol, sex, etc for which they were laughed upon.
Corn flakes were basically invented as a substitute to stop people from having sex, and living the unhealthy way. First they came up with a substitute for coffee to granula, which were type of cookies made out of corn meal and oat meal. But granula name was already taken by another company which threatened to sue them, so they changed it to Granola. So while experimenting and cooking some wheat they were called back to sanitarium and when they return this had turned out to be dry but being budget conscious they decided to use rollers on them which came out as a thin flakes, giving the world corn flakes.
5 Sinking of Titanic
This was a devastating incident causing death of more than 1500 people out of 2,224 who were on board. Titanic was said to be unsinkable before this it got hit by an iceberg. Many of the passengers on the boat died as it not having enough lifeboats to help them. The first life boat on Titanic left without 36 more people that it could have been able to take. This screw up completely changed the history.
This incident shook everyone, many renown people were part of this voyage. From then on a lot of safety measures have been taken care of, so the same is not repeated. This has changed laws for safety in three ways on the sea. First law was having Ice Patrol, whose duty would be to monitor the iceberg and any movement at sea. Second was to have more life boats, on Titanic there were life boats that could only save 50 percent of people. Third was the use of radio control. This incident has helped improve the safety measures and precautions that should be discussed beforehand.
4 The color Mauve
William Perkin, 18 years old chemist, who changed the world when he invented color Mauve. This discovery was made while he was working on anti-malaria drug Quinine.
This attempt of producing quinine he came across synthesizing Mauve which is the earliest synthetic dye. This dye turned silk in a shade of light purple which didn’t wash off and was very vibrant. This work of Perkin inspired Paul Ehrlich who is a German Bacteriologist.
3 Wildfire caused by a lost hunter
Sergio Martinez who was a novice hunter from West Covina, California, had got lost in the Cleveland National Forest which is near to San Diego. So by being lost, he shot off a flare and this flare ignited that burned around 280,000 acres of ground in San Diego.
This led to the discovery of the largest wildfire in California. He was definitely accused and charged for the cause of such disaster as it led to death of 14, and destroyed 2,200 homes.
2 Killing of cats, the Black Plague
In 1665 there was a Great Plague in London. People had assumed that the disease was spreading because of cats, for which they started killing cats. It was called the Black Death.
This killed an estimate of 100,000 people which was quarter population of London within 18 months only.
This was a horrifying plague which was linked to cat by one house, causing the death of cats. But eventually the disease was caused by Yersinia Pestis Bacterium which would enter the body via skin to lymph, destroying the digestive tract where the bacteria lived. But this was spread via rats on which these fleas lived upon, which infected the rat causing death. Once the rat died because of the plague, the fleas that were on the rats would find another host which often took the form of human.
1 Leaning Tower of Pisa
This has been a famous and accidental discovery. It took almost 2 centuries to build this renowned Tower of Pisa. The reason why it took so long to build this tower was because of the conflicts and war which would halt the progress time by time.
So each time there was such conflict the construction had to be post-pone, like in 1178 year, the workers had build it to third storey which was slightly tilted towards north. But they had to stop their work there because of the military conflict, which did not resume till 1272. This was an ill-conceived design.
Thus some of the most things that we have today were discovered because of some screw ups that changed the world’s history, out of which 10 biggest such screw ups are mentioned below:
10 Biggest Screw Ups That Completely Changed History
- Killing an old tree
- When Alexander Fleming Forgot to clean his lab
- Discovery of Plastics
- Attack on Pearl harbor by Japanese
- Corn flakes
- Sinking of Titanic
- The color Mauve
- Wildfire caused by a lost hunter
- Killing of cats, the Black Plague
- Leaning Tower of Pisa