SEP 15, 2016 12:33 PM PDT

7 Inventions that Changed Our Lives, but were Made by Accident

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Inventors can strive for decades to create the perfect product they have in mind. Many often spend their lifetime in pursuit of these creations that never come to fruition. Yet, some people seem to stumble on inventions that are so genius and wonderful that it's astounding to find these were discovered purely by accident.

Consider Play-Doh, the fun material ubiquitous in nearly all schools and households with small children - this was invented by accident. It was originally intended to be a paste to clean wallpapers. But when makers found that this material was more popular in schools for craft project, they jumped to rebrand it as a brilliant toy for kids.

And speaking of things that are ever present in households, how many Americans do you know of that don't own a microwave? This pervasive kitchen appliance was also invented by a fluke. It's inventor, Percy Spencer, was working with microwave-emitting magnetron when he realized his zapped foods melted. Putting it together, Spencer created the microwave oven and forever expanded the culinary skills of first-year college kids everywhere.

And of foods and accidental inventions - did you know the potato chips you're munching on and the Coke you're washing it down with were both invented by accident? The list goes on! Watch the video for more inventions that came to be through sheer luck and accident. Perhaps the other stroke of genius is when these inventors repackaged and rebranded their ideas!
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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