While you should be thankful for the countless technological inventions that have provided great comfort to humankind, there are some that you would wish were never created. Here is the list of 5 worst inventions you should stay away from.
Tetraethyl Lead was an anti-knocking agent used in automotive fuel for many years in the 20th century. Alcohol was already being used for the same purpose, but it caused corrosion to fuel lines and was deemed expensive. Thomas Midgley, who discovered its anti-knocking capabilities, advised his employer GM to use it by covering it up and calling it ‘ethyl gas.’ After the lethal health effects of this gas were discovered, a lot of lawsuits and health regulation acts followed. It was only in 1995 that the leaded gas was banned for most of the applications in the US.
The same Midgley later played a major role in the development of Chlorofluorocarbons as well.
One of the least known inventions is the Thorotrast, a type of x-ray contrast introduced in 1931. While it served the purpose right, it was quite radioactive. You can imagine what it did to the exposed patients. Having a half-life of nearly 22 years, it accumulated in the liver, spleen, and the bones. With a delay of just 20 to 30 years, it caused liver cancer and leukemia in patients. Its cancer-causing effects were not known earlier. Sadly, a lot of patients didn’t even know about the time bomb they were walking around with.
Refrigeration was considered risky back in 1920 due to the use of dangerous gases. In 1929, gas leaked from a refrigerator in a hospital in Ohio and killed over 100 people. More deaths were caused by some subsequent accidents of this kind, and the company stopped manufacturing methyl chloride refrigerators. Thanks to Thomas Midgley who invented the chlorofluorocarbons. The gas is not directly poisonous to humans, which resulted in its mass production and consumption. Why is it the worst invention ever? Just one molecule of Chlorofluorocarbons is 10,000 times more efficient in provoking the greenhouse effect than a carbon dioxide molecule.
The next ones may not be the worst, but they sure are the most annoying ones on the list.
Ughh! Who doesn’t hate pop-up ads? Well, the inventor himself did too. Ethan Zuckerman, an American media scholar, blogger, and Internet activist un-intentionally invented pop-up ads that are considered one of the most hated forms of the advertisement ever. He is also the director of the MIT Center for Civic Media and Associate Professor of the Practice in Media Arts and Sciences at MIT.
All he did was to write a code to launch advertisement in separate windows because he got complaints about the displaced banner ads. Well! As soon as that happened, the hell broke loose.
This annoying office assistant is nothing more than an irritating freak. If you haven’t lived through the 90s, you probably wouldn’t even know about it. This poor Clippy always offered unwanted advice like an overly eager person at a party that no one wants to talk to, but it keeps clinging to you. It used to offer help after making some dumb observations like, “It looks like you’re writing a letter,” like you didn’t know you were writing a letter. Imagine how much time you would have saved if you didn’t have to make undying efforts to turn this thing off! What about the CPU cycles it consumed needlessly? Forgiving this one is impossible.
If there are some other worse inventions in your mind, share with us in the comments section below.