25 Crazy Firsts In History That May Take You By Surprise

Posted by , Updated on May 21, 2024

As they say, there is a first time for everything. From cities to spacecraft these are 25 crazy firsts in history that you would never have guessed!



First skyscraper

amazing firsts

The Home Insurance Building was erected in Chicago in 1884 and has been called the “Father of the Modern Skyscraper”. It was 10 stories high.


First solo person to circumnavigate the globe using only human power

amazing firsts

Erden Eruc of Turkey walked and rowed right around the world!


First human to be killed by a robot

amazing firsts

On January 25 1979 Robert Williams died when he was hit in the head by a mechanical arm at a Ford casting plant.


First national park

amazing firsts

Yellowstone in the USA was the first national park on Earth. President Ulysses S Grant declared it a protected area in 1872.


First official fan-made music video

amazing firsts

The band Placebo was so impressed by Grégoire Pinard’s claymation video made to their song “English Summer Rain” that they decided to make it official.


First action movie, fiction film, and American Western

amazing firsts

The 1903 film The Great Train Robbery was 10 minutes long and had 14 scenes.


First person to reach the North Pole alone and on foot

amazing firsts

Although Sir Wally Herbert of the UK was the first confirmed person to reach the North Pole in 1969, Børge Ousland of Norway walked there by himself in 1994!


First manned maiden space flight

amazing firsts

When the first space shuttle launched on April 12, 1981 no space shuttle had ever been flown before, not even in a test. Astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen really were venturing out into the great unknown because prior to this point all space vehicles had at least undergone unmanned test flights before carrying humans on board.


First automatic weapon

amazing firsts

In 1883 Sir Hiram Maxim created the Maxim gun. The world’s first machine gun would go on to revolutionize warfare and was used in both World Wars.


First commercial passenger spacecraft

amazing firsts

On March 23, 2010 the Virgin Spaceship Enterprise of Virgin Galactic performed its first test flight in California. Although flights were scheduled to start in 2012, the ship crashed in 2014 during a test flight and deadlines have been pushed back.


First supercomputer

amazing firsts

Cray-1, the world’s first supercomputer was installed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the United States in 1976. It cost $8.8 million.


First animal to receive two bionic leg implants

amazing firsts

In June 2010 Oscar the cat received his bionic limbs after losing them to a combine harvester.


First video game

amazing firsts

Often a source of controversy, if you bypass the whole digital thing, the first time any game was played on a screen was in 1947. Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann created something called the Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device. It was a missile simulator that used analog circuitry.


First extraterrestrial tornadoes (dust devils)

amazing firsts

So it’s obviously not the first time a tornado touched down on another planet but when the Viking spacecraft recorded dust devils on Mars’s surface in the 1970s it was the first time we had proof!


First road map

amazing firsts

Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar commissioned the first known road maps to be created, not surprisingly because the Romans were famous for the roads they built. It took nearly twenty years to complete the first map!


First flashmob

amazing firsts

The first flashmob confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records took place in New York City in a New York City shop in 2003. Police were tipped off beforehand though.


First watch

amazing firsts

The first officially produced portable/wearable clock was the Nuremberg Egg. It was designed by Peter Hemlein of Germany in 1509.


First detection of planetary life by a spaceprobe

amazing firsts

When the Galileo spacecraft made a flyby of Earth scientists decided to probe our planet for life as if it were being encountered for the first time. All systems were go as the spacecraft detected chlorophyll, oxygen, and methane!


First strike

amazing firsts

The first known strike in history took place in Egypt on November 14, 1152 BC. The artisans of the Royal Necropolis organized the strike which was later recorded on papyrus.


First aerial bombardment

amazing firsts

In 1849 the Austrians launched several hundred unmanned balloons with the intention of dropping time-triggered bombs over Venice, (modern day) Italy. Winds were not in their favor and there were very few casualties.


First perfect PAC-MAN score

amazing firsts

On July 3, 1999 Billy Mitchell of the United States achieved the first confirmed perfect score in PAC-MAN. Since then it has been matched numerous times.


First controversial video game

amazing firsts

The 1976 game Death Race (originally titled Pedestrian) involved running over as many gremlins as you could. It caused quite a bit of press coverage as people were afraid that it would lead to reckless driving.


First city

amazing firsts

Going all the way back to 3200 BC Uruk, located in Mesopatamia (Iraq), is often considered the first city. It had nearly 50,000 inhabitants, a thick wall, and was a center of trade and commerce.


First declaration of war

amazing firsts

Also coming out of Mesopotamia, the Epic of Gilgamesh contains what historians believe is the first declaration of war. Gilgamesh was actually the king of Uruk and the poem describes his exploits.


First victim of an automobile accident

amazing firsts

Although the car was steam powered and experimental, in 1869 Mary Ward of the UK became the first recorded car crash victim ever. Keep in mind that such a vehicle could only move several kilometers per hour.