25 Accidental Discoveries That You Should Be Thankful For

Posted by , Updated on March 27, 2014

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From plastics to potato chips these are 25 accidental discoveries that you should be thankful for!

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25

Penicillin

accidental inventions

When Scottish biologist Alexander Fleming came back from vacation he noticed that his bacteria were all being killed off by a strange fungus. Modern medicine has never been the same.

24

The Microwave

accidental inventions

After Percy Spencer, an engineer working for Raytheon, walked in front of a Magnetron he noticed that the chocolate bar in his pocket melted. Several years later he successfully put together the first microwave oven.

23

Velcro

accidental inventions

While on a hiking trip in 1941 Swiss engineer Georges de Mestral found burrs clinging to his pants and realized that the burr’s hooks would cling to anything loop shaped. All he had to do was recreate the loops.

22

Teflon

accidental inventions

Roy Plunkett, a scientist at DuPont, was looking for ways to make refrigerators more home friendly by replacing their somewhat dangerous refrigerants. One of the samples he was working with ended up leaving a strange, slippery resin that was resistent to heat and chemicals.

21

Vulcanized Rubber

accidental inventions

Although in the 1830s the inability of rubber to withstand extreme temperatures led many to write it off, Charles Goodyear saw things differently. After years of experimenting he accidentally dropped one of his concoctions on the stove and it didn’t burn. Rubber was now weatherproof.



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