15 Accidental Inventions the World Can’t Live Without

It’s a little bit terrifying how inventions and discoveries that have saved millions of lives only occurred because some observant individual noticed something strange. If you don’t believe it, read on.


Dr. Alexander Fleming discovered that the mold penicillin killed other molds in 1928. How did he discover this? He noticed the mold on some discarded Petri dishes.

Warfarin, a Blood Thinner

In the 1920s, sheep grazed on moldy clover hay and died of internal bleeding. A Canadian vet, Frank Schofield, realized the mold on the hay contained a substance that prevented their blood from clotting.

The Pacemaker

John Hopps, an electrical engineer, was researching hypothermia. He hoped to restore the body temperature of people with hypothermia by using radio-frequency heating.

The Microwave Oven

In 1946, Raytheon scientist Percy Spencer was conducting research on a new vacuum tube the company hoped to use for radar. He noticed a candy bar in his pocket started to melt, so he grabbed some popcorn kernels and placed them near the tube.

Artificial Sweetener

In 1878, Konstantin Falberg found saccharin by mistake. It was the first artificial sugar. The Russian scientist was working in a lab at Johns Hopkins University at the time.

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