Almost every delicious snack that Americans chow down on, for example, was created by accident. Potato chips, popsicles, and chocolate chip cookies were byproducts of kitchen mistakes or mishaps.
Even some of the products and procedures used in medicine were discovered by accident. The scientists who discovered X-ray imaging, for instance, weren't even looking to advance medical technology, but their discovery ended up changing the world.
In addition, Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin, almost threw away the petri dish upon which it first grew, thinking that it was simply covered in mold. Had he simply discarded it instead of taking a closer look, there's no telling where medicine would be today.
In the end, countless accidental inventions like these account for some of the most important (and delicious) creations of all time.
In the 1880s, Coca-Cola was originally intended to be consumed as a syrup to cure common ailments, and even once contained up to nine mg of cocaine (coca) per serving. Eventually, the creators, namely John Pemberton, realized that while it didn't do much to cure ailments, when mixed with soda water it produced a delightfully sweet, fizzy drink.
Our beloved potato chips were actually invented by a New York chef out of spite for an angry customer. In 1853, a man in the hotel restaurant in which George Crum worked as a chef kept sending his fries back because they weren't crispy or salty enough. So Crum, deciding to trick the man, sliced potatoes paper thin, covered them in salt, and fried them to a crisp. To his surprise, the customer loved them, even ordering a second serving. Before long, Crum's little trick turned into a national sensation.
The always-useful-even-today microwave was first conceptualized when scientists for Raytheon were researching ways to improve detection of German U-boats during World War II. While working with the detector, one scientist, Percy Spencer, noticed that the radiation from the machine melted a chocolate bar in his pocket. After using the same rays from the detector and putting them in a contained, oven like contraption, the microwave was born.
The popsicle was actually invented by an 11-year-old boy named Frank Epperson in 1905. He mixed sugary soda powder with water and left it outside overnight. The result was a frozen concoction that could be eaten off of its wooden stirring stick. He declared his invention an Epsicle, (Epperson + icicle) though eventually his friends convinced him to rename it a popsicle.