Even though no one likes to admit this, we all make mistakes from time to time. There’s a reason why scientists have coined the term “human error” when something goes wrong in their experiments due to a miscalculation. However, some people made GIANT mistakes that literally changed the course of history and shaped the world as we know it today. With that said, today we will show everyone the top 20 biggest mistakes that drastically changed the course of history.
How do you think America was discovered by Christopher Columbus? Did some kind of divine being led the explorer towards the American continent, or maybe he had a hunch? The answer is that Christopher Columbus made errors in his navigational calculations that were supposed to help him sail to the Indies.
The then-president US Andrew Johnson was criticized by the media because he decided to purchase Alaska from Russia back in 1867 for two cents an acre. However, this proved to be a bad deal for the Russians because it was soon discovered that Alaska is filled with oil reserves.
Alexander Fleming changed the course of history into good when he discovered penicillin back in 1928. What many people don’t know is that this was all a mistake. The only reason why Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin is because he forgot a sandwich in his lab and when he came back from a lengthy vacation, he saw that the mold annihilated gram-positive pathogens.
The Hiroshima bombing is one of the worst things to ever happen and unfortunately, this was all caused because of a bad translator. When the Allies asked to Japan to retire, the Japanese wanted to say that they would think about it with the word “mokusatsu”. The translator for the Allies thought that the word meant that the Japanese are ignoring the request of the Allies.
Kid’s cartoons and different animated shows have shown us that spinach is giving people super strength. However, this is not true and it’s a myth that originates back to 1870 when a German chemist made the mistake of forgetting to place a decimal point in his reports. His report showed that spinach gives 35mg of iron per 100g, instead of the normal 3.5 mg.
While Hannibal might be remembered for being a great ruler, we should never forget that he lost half of his army due to a silly mistake. The Roman leader was crossing the Alps and started hitting his cane into the snow in order to show everyone that the snow is stable. Sadly, this caused an avalanche and half of Hannibal’s army was lost.
Napoleon Bonaparte is one of the best strategists to ever live. However, his biggest mistake was to attack Russia during time of winter. This didn’t turn out too well for the French.
Ronald Wayne will always be remembered in the history books for being the third co-founder of Apple. On the downside of things, the investor sold his 10 percent stake in the company for a total of $800. That 10 percent is now worth more than $63 billion.
While the Tower of Pisa might look unique since it leans to the right, this wasn’t how it was supposed to look. The reason why the Tower of Pisa is leaning to the right is because it has been built on soil subsidence.
A man by the name of Donald Rusk Currey started chopping down a tree in order to get some wood and make fire. Sadly, the tree that the man chose to cut was somewhere around 5,000 years old. Can you imagine that? The world’s oldest tree was cut down for logs.
Mao Zedong is known for many bad decisions, but one of the strangest ones took place in 1958 when Mao Zedong ordered his people to kill all sparrows because they are eating crops. The Chinese ruler didn’t think this through because after the sparrows were gone, crops were destroyed by insects.
As we all know, the Titanic was sunk by a giant iceberg. What many people don’t know is that this all would have been avoided if the ship officer on duty could find the key to a special locker where the binoculars were placed. Maybe he would’ve spotted the iceberg before the ship hit it.
An amateur hunter got lost in the woods of California and as he was trying to find help, he decided to light a fire so that he could be seen from far away. That signal fire caused the biggest wild fire in California burning more than 300,000 acres of forest and 2,322 homes.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin are the founders of Google and they tried to sell the search engine technology back in 1999 for $750,000 to Excite CEO George Bell. The CEO refused the deal and we think it’s safe to say that this might haunt him to this day.
Before they were famous, The Beatles were desperately looking for a record label to sign them and they auditioned for Decca. However, Decca refused the band because it didn’t believe that anyone would ever like their music.
World War I could’ve been avoided entirely if the driver of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand didn’t change his mind about the course that he needed to take. The driver took the Archduke and his wife right next to the bar where the assassin was thinking of a way to find them.
Did you know that the Dutch were the first ones to discover Australia? However, the Dutch didn’t want to claim ownership over Australia.
The famous Charles Goodyear was mixing rubber and sulfur but for some unknown reason, he forgot the two solutions on the stove for a couple of hours. This is how plastic was discovered.
Since we are talking about bad mistakes, we need to mention Japan’s decision to attack Pearl Harbor. This motivated tens of millions of US citizens to pick up arms and go fight in the war.
How do you think Constantinople was conquered? Was it some incredible siege strategy? No, the answer is that someone forgot to lock the Kerekoporta gate.