Unknown facts about Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla was one of most outstanding physicists in the history of science. It is unfortunate that this genius and his works are often unspoken in the pages of history. He had more than 100 patents to his name and he was famous for developing AC. His work became the basis of developments in wireless communications, radar, laser X rays, lighting, robotics, and many other areas. So, let us look at some mind blowing facts about Nikola Tesla which you don't know :

1. He was born during a lightning storm. Nikola Tesla was born around midnight, between July 9 and July 10, 1856 during a fierce lightning storm. According to family legend, midway through the birth, the midwife wrung her hands and declared the lightning a bad omen. This child will be a child of darkness, she said, to which his mother replied: “No. He will be a child of light.”

2. Most people have no idea that Tesla had an extraordinary sense of humor.

3. Tesla allegedly had a photographic memory, and could memorize entire books.

4. Tesla built a tower intending to suck electricity out of the air. He built a 185-foot tower on Long Island, planning to suck electricity out of the air and send it through the earth to provide wireless power to masses. Unfortunately, it did not complete as it was demolished in 1917 to satisfy Tesla's debts.
Wardenclyffe tower
5. Tesla rarely slept, and claimed he never dozed for longer than two hours. The inventor also said he once worked for 84 hours straight without any rest, according to John O'Neil, author of the book "Prodigal Genius: The Life of Nikola Tesla" .

6. Tesla ran into financial trouble with the world thinking he was insane. The transmission of voice, picture, and electricity was unheard of at this time. Tesla demonstrated the principles behind radio nearly ten years before Marconi. In 1943 the US Supreme Court ruled that Marconi's patents were invalid due to Tesla's descriptions of his work. Still, most references do not credit Tesla with the invention of radio.

7. He had the Idea for Smartphone Technology in 1901.  In the race to develop transatlantic radio, Tesla described to his funder and business partner, J.P. Morgan, a new means of instant communication that involved gathering stock quotes and telegram messages, funneling them to his laboratory, where he would encode them and assign them each a new frequency. That frequency would be broadcast to a device that would fit in your hand, he explained. In other words, Tesla had envisioned the smart phone and wireless internet, Carlson said, adding that of all of his ideas, that was the one that stopped him in his tracks.

8. Tesla was known for high voltage experiments and demonstrations, including displays of his famous Tesla Coil which produces high voltage, low current electricity.
Tesla Coil
Tesla Coil

Want to know more about this genius? Here are some more facts :

9. He and Edison were rivals, but not sworn enemies.  Early in his career, Tesla worked for Edison, designing direct current generators, but famously quit to pursue his own project: the alternating current induction motor. Sure, they were on different sides of the so-called “Current Wars,” with Edison pushing for direct current and Tesla for alternating current.

10. Tesla was an environmentalist. As Alcorn said, Tesla was “worried about the fact that people consume the Earth’s resources too fast, so he wanted to make sure that these resources were renewable“. Thus he studied the ways to gather the natural energy from the ground and air. He created artificial lightning in his lab and detected differences in electrical potential on Earth and on high objects.

11. In addition to being an environmentalist, the famous inventor was also a humanist. According to Alcorn, “he did what he did for the sake of the betterment of mankind and wanted to give people an opportunity to have a better quality of life. Thus, he never seemed to care about monetary gain and never had enough money for his research.”

12. The Tesla Museum was funded by a cartoon. In May, the Wardenclyffe was purchased by the Tesla Science Center for $ 1,370,000 donated by the website IndieGoGo. The campaign was started by Matthew Inman, creator of the popular comic Oatmeal.

13. Tesla suffered from insomnia and obsessive compulsive behaviors (OCD). Tesla hated round objects and jewelry, and could not bear to touch hair. Also he was obsessed with the number 3 and had a habit of polishing each point of the dining room before dining, using precisely 18 napkins.

14. Pearls drove him crazy. Tesla could not stand the sight of pearls, to the extent that he refused to speak to women wearing them. When his secretary wore pearl jewelry, he sent her home for the day.

15. He also had a powerful imagination and the ability to visualize in three dimensions, which he reportedly used to control the terrifying vivid nightmares from which he suffered from as a child.

16. Tesla was considered an eccentric man who talked of death rays that could destroy 10,000 airplanes at a distance of 250 miles.

Tesla's transformers
Tesla's transformers

17. By using Tesla's transformers, AC voltages could be stepped up (or down) and transmitted over long distances through thin wires. Tesla also invented electric motors that today are used in every appliance in your house. He invented fluorescent bulbs and neon signs. He designed the world's first hydroelectric plant, in Niagara Falls and patented the first speedometer for cars. Thomas Edison, who's money was invested in DC power systems, did his best to discredit Tesla. Edison even went so far as to claimed that AC electricity was far more dangerous than his DC power.

18. By 1898, he was demonstrating to the world the first remote controlled model boat at Madison Square Garden. Tesla wanted to provide free energy to the world and in 1900 began construction of a "Wireless Broadcasting System" tower on Long Island, New York. This tower was intended to link the world's telephone and telegraph services, and transmit pictures, stock reports, and weather information worldwide.

19. Tesla made the earth into an electric tuning fork by getting a steam-driven oscillator to vibrate at the same frequency as the ground. The result was an earthquake in the surrounding city. He had accurately determined the resonant frequencies of the Earth almost 60 years before science could confirm his results.

20. In 1899, he sent waves of energy through the Earth, thus providing the theory for earthquake seismic stations. By adding electricity to the returning energy he created the largest man-made lightning bolt ever recorded (130 feet). The accompanying thunder was heard 22 miles away and created a blue glow around the meadow outside his Colorado laboratory.

21. Tesla was a vegetarian, but eventually limited himself to a peculiar diet of only milk, honey, bread and vegetable juices.Later in life, he was consumed by an extreme aversion to germs, and would only eat food that had been boiled.

22. Later in his life, Tesla frequented parks in New York City, often rescuing injured pigeons and nursing them back to health.

23. According to Seifer's book "Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla," the inventor claimed that repeatedly squishing his toes helped to stimulate his brain cells. In fact, Tesla reportedly performed his toe exercises nightly, 100 times for each foot.

24. Tesla moved his lab to Colorado Springs in 1899 where he proved the Earth was a conductor, produced artificial lightning and became well known to his neighbors with ambitious electrical experiments that caused booming thunder, rogue sparks and the occasional power outage.

25. Nikola Tesla has been referred to as "the man who invented the 20th century." His use of alternating electrical currents and invention of the AC engine brought revolutionary changes in electrical power generation and transmission that remain the global standard today.
Nikola Tesla in his last years
Nikola Tesla in his last years

Yet, it is sad that this genius died penniless. But, we should salute and respect him for the modern world he had given to us. Thank You , Tesla !