You ever have a stroke of genius where you think "Wow, how am I not a successful inventor?"

Followed shortly thereafter by the realization, "I am not a genius, I just invented pleather."

Sometimes our brains miss the very last step of logic that reminds us this thing we thought we invented already exists. In those brief, shining moments where we believe ourselves to be geniuses, we see a world of possibilities ahead of us.

Immediately after, we see a world where everybody has already thought of everything.

u/jacklandors92 asked:

What have you accidentally "invented" in your mind before you realized it already exists in the world in some form?

Here were some of those answers.

A Shield By Any Other Name

I was thinking about ways to defend yourself from attack. Started out with a shield and thought "what if we go bigger?"

Tower shield?

Let's go bigger.

Shield that protects 180 degrees of your body.

Let's go bigger.

Shield that protects a full 360 degrees.

That's cumbersome.

What if we could fit it to your body?

Armour. That's armour. Nevermind.


If you put pictures along a subway wall at the right distance from each other, and the train is moving at a constant speed, it will look like a movie to passengers in the train. Held on to this "invention" until I saw one of these in the train from Heathrow to central London once, there are probably others elsewhere.

A Fan To Nowhere

Got into a drunken conversation with my cousin and we "invented" a toilet that had a built in exhaust fan that would suck your stink air out instead of having a normal fan in the ceiling.

We went on and on about the proper implementation of it for like 20 minutes before thinking to google it.

They exist, and they're expensive. :(

Protected Foot

I decided that leggings would be better if they had socks attached and got really excited about my invention idea for a solid minute until I realized I had just "invented" tights.

Nah, i've had this discussion before with my skiier buddies. They should make long johns with built in ski socks.

My buddy said "like tights", and i was like nah, you want it to be the different materials for both, but attached so you don't have to have the uncomfortable in-boot overlap of sock and longjohn cuffs.


"LiveWire" orange Mountain Dew. My friend and I decided to mix Crush with Mountain Dew once and found it was delicious. Then a few weeks later we saw it at a gas station and thought the CIA was listening to our phone lines (pre cell phones, for our area at least)

Or A Bed With Wheels

After a long day pushing my son around Disney World in his stroller I was day dreaming about how nice it would be for there to be adult sized strollers that we could use to get off our feet when we are tired.

And that's the day I invented the wheel chair.

This Magic Mixture

The color green. I was coloring a picture at home (I think it was a football player), first with yellow, then I accidentally drew with blue over it and the result was turqoise-greenish. Somewhere over the next few days in school, we had to do presentations and we were trying to decide for a color for the header. I was like "How about this?", showed it on my paper and everyone was like "Noo, green is boring... let's go with something else", which was when I realized oooh, yeah, that's green oops.

Where The Foods Are

Friends liked to go to bars and hang out a lot. I don't drink, but I do get hungry and most bar food is only okay at best. I wish they served better food for me to eat. I also hate having to yell to hold a conversation, so I wish they turned the music down and it was generally quieter and we could hear each other at a normal volume. So there should be, like, a bar but that serves a wider variety of better food and that has quiet music so you can hear each other talk. Great idea! -- wait, that's just a restaurant, self. You want to hang out in restaurants.

The Cinema

I was watching Black Mirror, and I was thinking how the seasons only have like 3-4 episodes, then I thought "well it's ok since the episodes are long." Then I got thinking "what if they made a season with one episode and the one episode is really long." Then I realized that those are just movies

Times Tables


When we were memorizing the times tables in elementary school, I couldn't get the nines, for whatever reason. So I'm studying this trying to figure out how to remember it, when I stumbled on a pattern. If you're multiplying the number by 9, you could multiply it by 10 instead, and just subtract the original number. I thought I was so brilliant, like I'm going to be some math prodigy or something.

Yeah no, it turns out that's just how all multiplication works. Looking back though, it's pretty dumb that we make kids rote memorize these dumb tables, instead of helping them understand the core idea in the first place.

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