We all make mistakes sometimes. The mistakes come in many different forms, and they have different consequences. Some of the mistakes people have made were actually so colossal they – in a way – eventually ended up changing the world. Winston Churchill once said that history is written by the victors, but as you will see in this post, it is not always the case. From the sinking of RMS Titanic to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, here are 25 Biggest Screw Ups That Completely Changed History.
On 26 April, 1986, during a hurried late night power-failure stress test, in which safety systems were deliberately turned off, a combination of inherent reactor design flaws, together with the reactor operators arranging the core in a manner contrary to the checklist for the stress test resulted in what turned out to be the worst nuclear disaster in history.
Cerro Grande fire
The devastating Cerro Grande fire in 2000 originally started as a controlled burn. However, it quickly grew out of control due to the dry weather and high winds. Over 400 families in the town of Los Alamos, New Mexico, lost their homes due to the fire that eventually burned for 3 months.
Soviet engineers burning gas pocket
After a drilling rig collapsed into a crater in Darvaza, central Turkmenistan in 1971, Soviet engineers decided to set the gases on fire, thinking it would burn out in a few weeks. Now, 46 years later, the crater is still burning. It actually became one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country.
Columbus´ voyage to America
In 1492, Columbus sailed the Atlantic Ocean and landed in Latin America, although he thought he just discovered another trade route to India. He and his men also accidentally transferred diseases (such as smallpox) to the natives whose immune systems could not deal with the new diseases. Eventually, entire populations of the indigenous Americans were wiped out.
Deepwater Horizon oil spill
On April 20, 2010, a British Petroleum (BP) oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico burst, pushing nearly five million barrels of oil from the well. It was the largest oil spill in history, surpassing the 3.3 million barrels that spilled into the Bay of Campeche in Mexico in 1979. Affecting a total area of up to 68,000 sq mi (176,100 km2), the disaster had devastating effects on the marine life, killing millions of fish, turtles, sea mammals, birds, and other animals.
Photos: 25. Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-268-0185-05A / Böhmer / CC-BY-SA 3.0, Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-268-0185-05A, Russland, Panzer 35t, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, 22. Dcrjsr, Big bristlecone pine Pinus longaeva, CC BY-SA 3.0, 19. Paxson Woelber, Bold Peak. Chugach Mountains, Alaska, CC BY-SA 3.0, 17. abdallahh via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 10. Michel Ngilen via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 3. Roderick Eime via flickr, CC BY 2.0