21 Accidental Inventions That Changed Our World

Published December 4, 2017
Updated December 20, 2017

Forget genius. A happy combination of dumb luck and coincidence was all it took for these accidental inventions to exist.

Accidental Inventions Coke bottle
Accidental Inventions Potato Chips
Accidental Inventions Chef putting food in microwave
Accidental Inventions Popsicles
21 Accidental Inventions That Changed Our World
View Gallery

Often times, scientists will try to uncover or create one thing, only to end up creating something entirely different. And while these accidental inventions and discoveries usually turn out to be useless, sometimes they turn out to be something that becomes incredibly useful for mankind.

Almost every delicious snack that Americans chow down on, for example, was created by accident. Potato chips, popsicles, and chocolate chip cookies were byproducts of kitchen mistakes or mishaps.

Even some of the products and procedures used in medicine were discovered by accident. The scientists who discovered X-ray imaging, for instance, weren't even looking to advance medical technology, but their discovery ended up changing the world.

In addition, Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin, almost threw away the petri dish upon which it first grew, thinking that it was simply covered in mold. Had he simply discarded it instead of taking a closer look, there's no telling where medicine would be today.

In the end, countless accidental inventions like these account for some of the most important (and delicious) creations of all time.


After this look at accidental inventions, read about these accidental discoveries that changed the course of history. Then, read about five inventors who were killed by their own inventions.

Katie Serena
Katie Serena is a New York City-based writer and a staff writer at All That Is Interesting.
Close Pop-in
Like History Uncovered On Facebook

Get The Most Interesting Stories From History In Your Feed