You don’t have to follow Nihilist Arby’s to realize that nothing matters and life on this planet is the result of a series of accidents. Somewhere in the midst of all of the Big Bang-ing and cosmic caroming, we hit the Goldilocks sweet spot and the primordial soup goop was just right. As a species, we’ve commonly used biomimicry to essentially “borrow” from Mother Nature and this vast test bed of evolutionary trial and error. So it should come as no surprise that some of the most invaluable technological discoveries can also be chalked up to mere happenstance. After all, an uncovered petri dish next to an open window may have given us the most significant medical discovery of the 20th century — penicillin.
Some people may be familiar with the story behind the first ink jet printer or perhaps even the first inadvertent LSD trip, but even fewer may know the story behind seemingly omnipresent items like plastics or even the microwave oven. As the saying goes, necessity may be the mother of invention, but wonderful systematic hitches and all-out glitches have certainly played a part in many a eureka moment. The word “accident” entered the English language from the Latin verb “cadere,” meaning “to fall.” With that in mind, here are the best accidental inventions to seemingly fall right into our laps.