Man Who Electrified the World: 32 Amazing Facts About Nikola Tesla

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1Toy boat

Toy boat

In 1898, Nikola Tesla tricked an entire crowd into believing that they could control a toy boat by shouting commands. He had in fact invented Remote Radio Control and was piloting the boat himself.

2. Nikola Tesla openly expressed disgust for overweight people. Once, he fired his secretary solely because of her weight.

3. While in college, Tesla became a gambling addict, lost all his tuition money, dropped out of school, and suffered a nervous breakdown.

4. Tesla was able to perform integral calculus in his head, which prompted his teachers to believe that he was cheating.

5. Nikola Tesla, widely known as the inventor of the AC power system, also installed the first hydroelectric plant at Niagara Falls in 1896. It was around this time that Tesla also disavowed coal and oil in favor of renewable energy sources.

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6Pop-out cake

Pop-out cake

Nikola Tesla was at the first party to have a stripper jump out of a cake.

7. Nikola Tesla and Mark Twain were friends. They met at a club in New York and struck up a friendship. Tesla even helped Twain with some gastrointestinal issues by having Twain stand on an oscillating platform for 90 seconds, causing him to run for the bathroom.

8. Nikola Tesla could speak eight languages: Serbo-Croatian, Czech, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, and even Latin.

9. Nikola Tesla was voluntarily chaste, despite numerous women "vying for his affections... some even madly in love with him", because he believed sex inhibited his abilities to think in a scientific manner.

10. Nikola Tesla planned to secretly experiment on children, lining the walls of schoolrooms with high-voltage lines, believing that exposing them to the energy would make them healthier and smarter, and he believed every home in the future would soon do likewise.

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Nikola Tesla became interested in electricity after his cat gave him an electric shock.

12. Nikola Tesla once caused an earthquake in Manhattan by creating an artificial earthquake machine. The machine achieved this by reaching the resonant frequency of his building through a simple piston suspended in a cylinder.

13. Nikola Tesla drank whiskey every day because he thought it would make him live to 150.

14. Nikola Tesla was an advocate of sterilizing criminals, people with mental problems, and believed that by 2100 people who aren't "desirable parents" shouldn't be able to breed.

15. In 1891, Tesla made a risky demonstration to discredit Edison Company’s claims on the safety of AC. During the demo, for a moment, 250,000 volts raced across the surface of his body, causing him to be surrounded by what one newspaper called “the Effulgent Glory of Myriad Tongues of Electric Flame.”

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16Atomic theory

Atomic theory

Nikola Tesla disagreed with the theory of atoms being composed of smaller subatomic particles, stating there was no such thing as an electron creating an electric charge.

17. Nikola Tesla never slept for more than 2 hours, however, he did admit to "dozing" from time to time "to recharge his batteries."

18. Tesla refused to talk to any woman who wore pearls.

19. Nikola Tesla used Sanskrit words in his descriptions of natural phenomena. After meeting Swami Vivekananda, Tesla began using the words 'Akasha', 'Prana', and the concept of a luminiferous ether to describe the source, existence, and construction of matter.

20. When Nikola Tesla met with Thomas Edison for a job interview, he handed him his letter of recommendation which simply stated "My Dear Edison: I know two great men and you are one of them. The other is this young man!" He was immediately hired.



Nikolas Tesla had crippling OCD. He would clean his plates with exactly 18 napkins before meals, had an extreme phobia of germs, and claimed he was receiving radio transmissions from inhabitants of Venus or Mars.

22. In 1940, Nikola Tesla offered to build the American military a "teleforce" death ray that could "melt airplane motors 250 miles away". All he wanted was $2 million and three months of time.

23. In 1905, Nikola Tesla served as Best Man at the wedding of Lt. Richmond Hobson of Alabama, who would later become the first Southern Congressman to support a woman's right to vote.

24. Nikola Tesla was heavily influenced by Goethe's Faust, his favorite poem, and had actually memorized the entire text. It was while reciting a certain verse that he was struck with the epiphany that would lead to the idea of the rotating magnetic field and ultimately, AC current.

25. Nikola Tesla "squished his toes" one hundred times for each foot every night, saying that it "stimulated his brain cells."

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