The work of Nikola Tesla has had a profound impact upon the world we live in today. Born into the Austrian Empire in 1856 – in an area which today constitutes modern Croatia – Tesla eventually arrived in the United States. Here, he came up with numerous influential technologies, ultimately establishing himself as a central scientific figure of his time. The man is admired to this very day, yet many aspects of his life remain somewhat obscure. Here’s a look at just a few…
4. He was born in a lightning storm
The extent of Tesla’s work was vast, but he’s perhaps most well-known today for his work involving electricity. Fittingly, there are rumors that he was birthed in the midst of a lightning storm. According to this tale, the midwife helping with his delivery suggested that the storm was a sign of bad luck. But Tesla’s mother, on the other hand, proclaimed, “He will be a child of light.”
3. He was a germophobe
According to reports, Tesla had quite the fear of germs. He apparently used precisely 18 serviettes per meal, wiping germs away from his plates, glasses and cutlery. Reluctant to shake anybody else’s hand, he supposedly avoided the practice – but when he was compelled to do so, he swiftly disappeared to wash his own hands.
2. He thought up wireless internet and smartphones
It seems that Tesla actually anticipated the invention of wireless internet and the smartphone – almost a century ago. Speaking in 1926, he said, “When wireless is perfectly applied, the whole Earth will be converted into a huge brain… We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance.” He went on, “The instruments through which we shall be able to do his will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone.”
1. Many of his inventions remain classified
In the wake of the great inventor’s death in 1943, the American government confiscated a number of Tesla’s files. Naturally, many people have wondered what was contained within these notes, and various conspiratorial beliefs have subsequently emerged. In 2016 some of these documents were published, with more following over the next couple of years. But still, not everything has been issued today – and people still have questions.