22 Fascinating Facts About Nikola Tesla, History’s Greatest “Mad Scientist”

Published July 1, 2017
Updated April 14, 2021
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22 Fascinating Facts About Nikola Tesla, History’s Greatest “Mad Scientist”
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Often overshadowed by his one-time employer, Thomas Edison, Serbian-born inventor, engineer, and physicist Nikola Tesla is known mostly as the archetypical "mad scientist" behind breakthroughs like the AC induction motor and the Tesla coil.

While Tesla indeed enjoyed a successful career as an inventor, his personal life was a different story, as he displayed many asocial behaviors and had no documented romantic relationships. Ultimately, he ultimately ended up both destitute and alone.

Having seemingly become more eccentric with each passing year of his life, Tesla exhibited a list of odd behaviors that are now remembered perhaps as well as his legacy of preternatural brilliance.

Represented among the Nikola Tesla facts above are both sides of one of the most complex figures of our time.

Listen above to the History Uncovered podcast, episode 20: The Rise and Fall of Nikola Tesla, also available on iTunes and Spotify.

After this survey of fascinating Nikola Tesla facts, check out this list of some of the Tesla predictions that came true. Then, see how people today have made use of the Tesla coil.

Gabe Paoletti
Gabe is a New York City-based writer and an Editorial Intern at All That Is Interesting.