Mankind have proven themselves to be discovers. It is part of human nature to constantly question our surroundings. These 5 accidental discoveries show how important our questioning is for mankind. Through hard work, perseverance, and a little luck scientists and inventors have stumbled upon some interesting discoveries.
1. The Microwave
Microwaves have proven to be an extremely important discovery, one that now would seem hard to live without. It was discovered by a man named Percy Spencer who worked for Raytheon in the 1940s. Percy stumbled upon these microwaves after walking in front of a magnetron, or a machine used to generate microwaves, and noticed that a chocolate bar in his pocket had melted. After more experiments Spencer, in 1945, successfully invented the first microwave oven.
2. The Big Bang
The Big Bang is a theory we all have heard. It is a theory that attempts to explain how our universe came to be. We may believe that it was a discovery made through observation from telescopes or experiments being done in a sophisticated lab however we would be wrong. The Big Bang was discovered with noise, like radio static, in 1964 in New Jersey. Two astronomers were working with the Holmdel antenna when they discovered a background noise they could not explain. The astronomers found it was not interference from their environment but still could not pin the noise down. This is when the scientists came across Robert Dicke’s theory that radiation leftover from a universe forming big bang would act as background cosmic radiation. The astronomers put two and two together and began compiling their evidence. The two astronomers would go on to win the Nobel Prize.
The inventor of Coca-Cola was a pharmacist named John Pemberton. He was not a man trying to create a soft drink empire or even a man looking to create a tasty beverage. Mr. Pemberton just wanted to cure headaches. He believed cocoa leaves and cola nuts may help and began experimenting with the ingredients. However, one day his lab assistant accidentally mixed the two with carbonated water spawning the world’s first Coke. After a few years of tweaking the secret recipe, Pemberton died never knowing his discovery would turn into a beverage empire.
Believe it or not Play-Doh was originally developed as a cleaning product. The ironically messy product was first formed and marketed as a way to clean wallpaper. The company Kutol Products eventually reached bankruptcy and needed a change. The important discovery they made was that children were using their product to create Christmas ornaments and other arts and craft projects. Kutol jumped on this discovery by removing certain chemicals, adding color and a fresh scent in order to create one of the most recognizable toys of all time. Sometimes the answers are right in front of us, we just have to go looking.
5. The Slinky
The slinky was invented in 1943 by Navy engineer Richard James. James was trying to figure out a way to keep important instruments aboard ships from breaking due to the constant rocking of the boat. While experimenting, James accidentally knocked over one of his prototypes meant to steady the ships instruments. His prototype, instead of crashing down, fell gracefully and eventually sprang back to its original form. While seemingly unimportant, this simple discovery became a staple for childhood toys which goes to show that discovery requires an eye for the unique and just a little bit of luck.