Nikola Tesla: Five Weird And Fun Facts About The Prodigal Genius

When we talk of scientists, names like Newton, Einstein, Galileo are mentioned very quickly. After all, these scientists are some of the most famous names in the scientific world because of their irreplaceable contribution to science. But did you know that there was a scientist whom Albert Einstein himself called ‘the smartest man alive’. Such was the genius of Nikola Tesla that it influenced even the uncrowned king of science himself.

Here are some interesting facts about Nikola Tesla, the creator of the Tesla coil and the inventor of the technology that drives modern smartphones.

1. Nikola Tesla was born during a lightning storm

It is absolutely true that Tesla, the man whose research revolves around electricity, was born during a lightning storm. Tesla was born around midnight in the Austrian Empire between July 9 and July 10, 1856. Legend has it that the midwife who assisted Tesla’s mother openly declared that lightning was a bad omen and that Tesla would be the child of darkness. To this his mother said, “No, he will be the child of Prakash”.

2. Tesla worked for Thomas Edison, and later became his competitor

Thomas Edison was a prolific American inventor. After Nikola Tesla came to America, he worked as Edison’s assistant. However, he later left to pursue his project. Edison worked on direct current while Tesla worked on alternating current. This put the two on either side of the ‘current war’.

Although they were competitors, they were not enemies. There was mutual respect. Once Edison attended a speech given by Tesla, the latter led the audience in giving Edison a standing ovation.

When Tesla’s lab caught fire. Edison arranged a laboratory for Tesla to continue his work.

3. Tesla Develops Idea for Smartphone Technology

Tesla was ahead of his time. Once, he pitched an idea to his funder JPMorgan that involved encoding messages and transmitting each of them on a specific frequency which was then received in a handheld device. This idea was important in later research to develop the smartphone.

4. Tesla Scared Mark Twain

People living near Tesla’s lab often said he had an ‘earthquake machine’ that could shake entire blocks. The machine was actually a high frequency oscillator. Tesla once invited the famous author Mark Twain to his laboratory and had him stand on a platform that was connected to an oscillator.

Mark Twain had digestive problems. The stage shook so violently that it scared Twain into jumping off her and running to the toilet facility.

5. Tesla hated pearls. like really!

Tesla was known to have a prodigious talent. He hated pearls for some reason. His hatred was so strong that he refused to talk to women wearing pearls. One day his secretary came to the laboratory wearing a pearl. Tesla sent him home.


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