25 Accidental Inventions That Changed The World

Posted by on May 14, 2012

Not long ago we came to you with 25 inventions that changed our way of life. Well, we’re back, but this time we’re only concerned with those inventions that no one actually intended to invent. So, from dynamite and Penicillin to popsicles and velcro these are the top 25 accidental inventions that changed the world.



You know that pink packet of fake sugar that’s always sitting on the restaurant table? Well, as sweet as it is you may be surprised to know where it came from. In 1879 Constantin Fahlberg, a chemist trying to find alternative uses for coal tar, came home after a long day of work only to notice that his wife’s buscuits tasted a lot sweeter. After asking her about it he realized he hadn’t washed his hands after work, and voila.


Smart Dust

Although most students would be a bit upset if their homework all of a sudden exploded in their face, Jamie Link, a graduate student at the University of California made the most of the situation and ended up changing the world. After the silicon chip she was working on was accidently destroyed she realized that the individual pieces could still function as sensors. Today they are used to detect everything from deadly tumors to biological agents.


Potato Chips

In 1853 George Crum, a chef in New York, accidentally invented potato chips when an annoying patron kept sending his french fried potatoes back to the kitchen because they were soggy. In an attempt to teach the customer a lesson, Crum sliced them extra thin, fried them to a crisp and drowned them in salt. To his surprise, however, the complaining customer actually like them and thus potato chips were born.


Coca Cola

Although these days its almost common knowledge, this list wouldn’t be complete without civil war veteran turned pharmacist John Pemberton and what he originally intended as nothing more than a medication (this is also why the original coke actually did include cocaine on its list of ingredients)



It was 1905 and soda pop had just become the most popular drink on the market. 11 year old Frank Epperson decided he wanted to try saving some money by making his own at home. Using a combination of powder and water he got pretty close but then absentmindedly left the concoction out on the porch all night. Temperatures ended up dropping severely and when he came out in the morning he found his mixture frozen with the stirring stick still in it.