50 Interesting Things That Happened by Accident

26Barry Kidston

A chemistry graduate student named Barry Kidston accidentally synthesized the chemical MPTP and gave himself Parkinsonian Syndrome while trying to make opioids. He accidentally advanced Parkinson's research at his own expense.


27. Steve Wynn bought a Picasso painting (Le Rêve) for $45 million in 1997, accidentally put his elbow through it causing over $90,000 in damages. This story added value to the painting and was sold for $155 million in 2013. 


28. An expedition to the Titanic accidentally recovered "a wedding band and part of a human finger", confirming that human remains still exist on the wreck.


29. Chlorine-trifluoride is a chemical substance that is so unstable that it can set seemingly inflammable objects like concrete on fire. In the 1950s, some of it was accidentally spilled in a warehouse and it burned through a foot of concrete while simultaneously releasing a deadly cloud of gas that corroded anything it touched.


30. In 1991, two-star Army general named David H. Petraeus was accidentally shot in the chest with an M-16 rifle. The hospital released him early after he did fifty push-ups without resting, just a few days after the accident.


31Charles Sumner Elementary School

In 2008, a school named Charles Sumner Elementary School at Camden, New Jersey forced 7 students to eat their lunch off the floor for 2 weeks after a child accidentally spilled water while refilling a water cooler. The 7 students won a $500,000 legal settlement.


32. Acme City whistle founder Joseph Hudson accidentally dropped his violin and it shattered on the floor. As the violin broke, it emitted a unique warbling sound and this led him to an idea of putting a pea in a whistle. Pea whistles went on to replace policemen’s ineffective rattles for communicating.


33. In 1909, a 15-year-old boy named George Spencer Millet was accidentally stabbed to death by an ink eraser in the insurance office where he worked, trying to evade the birthday kisses of all the office women.


34. In 1980, an oil drilling company in Louisiana accidentally drilled into a salt mine, which caused a sinkhole to form in Lake Peigneur. The resultant whirlpool sucked in the drilling platform, eleven barges, many trees and 65 acres of the surrounding terrain.


35. During World War 2, a German submariner accidentally flushed the toilet the wrong way, resulting in the capsule being flooded with raw sewage and forcing it to surface. It was then captured near the coast of Scotland.


36Alan L Bean

Apollo 12 astronaut Alan L Bean accidentally destroyed the mission's TV camera by pointing it at the sun. He also left several rolls of exposed film on the moon by mistake, and was hit on the head by a 16mm film camera when the crew splashed down on Earth.


37. In 2014, a 23-year-old female accidentally killed herself by absorbing methamphetamine via her vagina - the autopsy found a meth-filled plastic bag inside of her, and the concentration in her blood was 2.4 times the greatest concentration ever found in a human.


38. In 2008, a ship's anchor accidentally cut two underwater Internet cables, reducing Asia's internet capacity by 72%.


39. While creating the first Tomb Raider video game in 1996, a developer trying to increase Lara Croft's breast size by 50% accidentally enlarged them by 150%. Others approved of the change before he fixed the mistake, and the marketing campaign emphasized Lara's exaggerated body. The game went on to become a #1 hit.


40. Micheal J. Fox was accidentally hanged for real becoming unconscious while filming Back to the Future Part III.


41Yooket Paen and Yooket Pan

A rural Thai woman named Yooket Paen accidentally slipped on "farmyard mud," grabbed a naked live wire and got electrocuted to death. After the funeral, her sister named Yooket Pan was showing her neighbors how the accident happened when she herself slipped, grabbed the same live wire and also got electrocuted to death.


42. Actor John Ritter’s testicles were briefly visible in an episode of Three’s Company. Although Nickelodeon would not identify the specific episode involved, the scene is part of a final-season episode, “The Charming Stranger,” which was originally broadcast on 20 December 1983. The episode ran many times without anyone noticing the blooper and when it was noticed Nickelodeon said it would snip the offending bit from future repeats.


43. In 1958, an experienced lab technician named Cecil Kelley accidentally created a burst of nuclear fission and exposed himself to radiation levels 7 times above lethal limits in under a second, at a laboratory in Los Alamos. He was transported to a hospital, but died 35 hours after the accident.


44. In 2009, one of Google's programmers was adding websites to the malware registry when he accidentally entered "/" instead of a full URL causing the search engine to block off every website in its index including Google's own pages for 55 minutes.


45. www.whitehouse.com used to be a porn site, resulting in many schoolchildren accidentally viewing adult content in the late 1990s via the website.


46Exploding gum

In 2009, a student in Ukraine died from a piece of bubble gum that exploded in his mouth. This happened after he accidentally dipped the gum into a packet of explosive material, instead of citric acid.


47. In 2002, a Mexican man named Teofilo Gonzalez Cano accidentally killed his cousin named Vicente Gonzalez Santiago while drunk. He was sentenced to death by being buried alive with the cousin whom he had killed.


48. In Russia, if you step on somebody’s foot accidentally, you are expected to put your foot out so they can equally step on yours.


49. In 1945, the Royal Air Force accidentally sunk a ship full of Holocaust victims. The ship had previously been used in the Nazi Propaganda film “Titanic”. More people died on that ship than on the actual Titanic.


50. In 2011, a 75-year-old Georgian woman named Hayastan Shakarian accidentally cut off internet access to almost all of Armenia while scavenging for copper to sell as scrap.

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