Many discoveries throughout the history of science have happened completely accidentally.
In this spirit, here are twenty-eight people who discovered scientific things by accident.
Many thanks to the Redditor who posed this question. You can check out more answers from the source at the end of this article!
1/28. When I was in grade 11 Chemistry my friend and I were adding chemicals to a test tube, and apparently it wasn't cleaned properly so a yellow gas started to rise from it.
My friend was holding it while I turned to the teacher and said, "Uhh sir, we didn't get the reaction you said we should."
He basically jumped his counter, screamed "Everyone out!" and grabbed the test tube and threw it under the fume hood.
He came out into the hall, looked at my friend and said, "Congrats Kevin, you made mustard gas."
2/28. Getting up in the middle of the night for a glass of water (lights out, natch), and seeing the ice cubes illuminate as I twisted them out of the tray. Found out years later that it's called triboluminescence.
Has to be very dark and with your eyes completely acclimated.
3/28. You can't get a mirror screensaver by scanning a mirror.
4/28. Not me, but an old friend of mine carried out a bit of an amateur scientific experiment when he was a kid - he discovered that if you put 'water wings' on your ankles and jump into a swimming pool, you go upside down with your feet sticking up out of the water and you have to get rescued.
For science, you know.
5/28. Don't use food coloring to dye your contacts. You won't look cool, and your eyes will hurt.
6/28. If you fill a glass bottle, with an aluminum top (used to use Sobe bottles) about 1/3 full of gasoline and place in fire. the container will start pressuring as it heats up, until the aluminum top fails shooting a big fireball in the air and huge smoke ring...
*Make sure you put enough gasoline in the bottle! If there's less than 1/8 of the bottle filled with gas the pressure will build to fast and the bottle will explode sending glass all over your friends back yard.
7/28. What happens when you microwave sugar? Caramel! I felt like the smartest damn 10 year old on the planet.
8/28. Filling a basketball with gasoline, lighting a rag that is sticking out of it on fire, then trying to kick it around like a soccer ball will only lead to a trail of flames on the ground for 10-15 seconds, followed by the ball completely catching on fire while you and your friends run away on your bikes with the sound of fire trucks in the background and a huge pillar of smoke oddly close to where you were playing firekickball.
9/28. Digital cameras aren't microwaveable. Not even for a few seconds.
10/28. Spray paint melts styrofoam.
For a more dramatic display, use pure Acetone on styrofoam.
Also, NON-dairy creamer is flammable. Make coffee away from open flames.
11/28. Wood lacquer can catch on fire if you wipe some of it on a towel/rag, ball it up and leave it somewhere.
12/28. I used to get fake nails put on--when I could afford it-- and I knew in the back of my mind that nail polish is flammable, but then I was using a lighter and my fingernail caught on fire. I was so shocked.
13/28. I made hard boiled eggs and tried one after they had cooled. Realized they weren't quite done, still a bit gooey in the middle. So I put one in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, bit into it, and the center exploded into a ball of molten yolk and burned my lips and face.
14/28. When he was younger, my friend had a babysitter leave his turtles outside because it was a cool, overcast day and he had to clean out the cage. Enter sun, stage west, and those poor suckers cooked in their shells.
15/28. Pink Russians (Vodka and Pepto Bismol) are good for relieving stress and heartburn simulatenously.
Continue this article on the next page!
16/28. When I was young I had an electric heating blanket on my bed that I accidentally spilled some dry cocoa puffs on. I went to the kitchen to get stuff to clean up my mess and when I got back my bed was on fire.
Turns out old 1970's electric blankets and highly flammable food don't mix well. Parents didn't let me have another electric blanket. Good memories.
17/28. While camping, any antibacterial hand gel and toilet paper do not mix to create a wet wipe.
18/28. That it is almost impossible to swallow a spoon full of cinnamon b/c it drys out your throat so much. Everyone knows this now like cinnamon just randomly evolved into a choking hazard overnight but I remember hearing about this years ago before going viral and watching a friend gag trying to do it. Good times.
19/28. I discovered that birth control is only 99% effective.
20/28. I learned that one should never, ever set fire to any amount of the liquid that comes out of those compressed-air cans. Two or three drops ended up filling my apartment with an extremely nasty smell for a couple of hours. It also gives off hydrogen fluoride and carbon monoxide.
No, I did not do this intentionally.
Continue this article on the next page!
21/28. Don't put salt on your hand, and hold it down with ice. I don't know why I did it in the first place, but after taking the ice off, the part of my hand with the salt on it was completely white and hard.
I learned later that I froze my skin cells in that area by pushing extremely cold salt into my hand. Left a weird mark for a while.
22/28. Antiperspirant is for armpits... Do not put "other" places.
23/28. Taking a gallon jug, ball of aluminum foil, and some toilet cleaner with the lid shut will create a fragmentation bomb.
I learned this when I got a piece of bottle stuck into my siding.
24/28. Put gasoline in bucket. Throw firecracker in bucket. Gas did not catch fire. Clearly the next logical thing to do is light the firecracker inside of the bucket with my head right above it.
So yea, it's the vapor that catches fire ...
My friend thought it was hysterical. Cackling maniacally while spraying me with a garden hose.
25/28. I made a wolfhead for a costume with styrofoam teeth. Then I thought, hey, why not put some nail polish on the teeth to preserve them? The nail polish melted the styrofoam. I was very sad.
26/28. I once used an eye dropper to suck a single, adult sea monkey out of its aquarium. I then squirted him into a bottle cap full of vodka. This caused him to start swimming around in circles at about 3 times the normal sea monkey speed, but it didn't kill him. I then sucked him back into the eye dropper and squirted him back into the aquarium with the general population. That night, he murdered all of his fellow monkeys and then offed himself, somehow. Science.
27/28. Nail polish remover/pure alcohol melts common plastics.
Stupid me decided to take apart my keyboard and clean up the soda I had spilled into it. Most of the sugary mess came up, except for some stubborn places. Used nail polish remover and now my F1 key is welded to my keyboard.
28/28. In my backyard there was a bucket of rainwater. Some algae had formed in it and after that a fly laid eggs in it starting a colony of water-maggots. I was disgusted by it and decided I'd just dump some chemicals in there and see what happened.
I grabbed ammonia glass cleaner, "Dawn" dish soap, and bleach. I grabbed a pot and threw in the glass cleaner, soap, and then the bleach. It started bubbling like crazy and heating up, bubbles were everywhere. Didn't think much of it and dumped it into the bucket and cleaned up the bubbles.
I looked up the ingredients and found that I had made mustard gas. The dish soap made bubbles of mustard gas which saved my life. I was blown away.
Don't abuse deodorant sprays. I sprayed it on my hand as a youth to see how long I could do it for, and it left a nasty rash/scar on my hand that I have till this day.