Scientific Discoveries That Were Not Intended

Scientific Discoveries That Were Not Intended

Maybe one of the most famous instances of inventing something completely by accident is penicillin. However, many great discoveries happened without the scientist intending. Even plastic, something you wouldn't be able to avoid in a day, was invented by accident—the inventor was trying to produce a substitute for shellac.


Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Plastic was invented when the inventor's was trying to create a substitute for shellac. (1:03)

  • 2

    In 1927, a pharmacist tried to get dried chemicals off his stirring stick and it burst into flames—inventing the strikeable match. (4:21)

  • 3

    When 9th century Chinese alchemists were trying to make an elixir for eternal life, they invented gunpowder. (5:13)

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