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Nikola Tesla: 10 Facts You Didn't Know
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Nikola Tesla: 10 Facts You Didn't Know

You may know that Nikola Tesla invented his coil and AC electricity, but this fascinating character has hidden dept...

Nikola Tesla: 10 Facts You Didn't Know

You may know that Nikola Tesla invented his coil and AC electricity, but this fascinating character has hidden depths outside his inventions. Thanks to the Internet, we have the means to catch a more thorough glimpse of the world’s first true mad scientist (Tesla proposed the concepts of the smartphone and wireless internet in 1901! how crazy is that?).

 

1. He was the Wozniak to Edison’s Jobs

Thomas Edison and Tesla were not arch enemies. They were more like Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. One was a tech genius, the other a marketing whiz. They didn’t always see eye to eye, but they respected each other. Joker and Batman they were not.

 

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2. His mother was an inventor

Tesla was born in what is now Croatia, and he developed his fascination with electricity from his mother, Djuka Mandic. She invented household appliances instead of gossiping with the neighbors.

 

3. He was fascinated by the number 3

Some believe Tesla was obsessive compulsive, and his unfailingly dapper image seems to confirm this suspicion. What wasn’t so apparent was that he always did things in threes: circling a block thrice and polishing silver with 18 napkins.

Incidentally, Wozniak had an obsession with the number 2. Great minds think alike.

 

4. He hated jewelry, especially pearls

Tesla had an aversion to pearls that verged on the hysterical and later morphed into an aversion to anything circular. He also disliked hair, and shaking hands.

 

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5. He was a feminist

Tesla predicted in 1926 that women would eventually take over the world. He also predicted that with women in control, human society would gradually evolve into what he calls “the perfect civilization of the bee.”

 

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6. He had an eidetic memory

Tesla could commit whole books to memory, which probably helped him become proficient in 8 languages (Serbo-Croatian, Latin, English, German, Hungarian, Czech, Italian, and French). He didn’t have to write anything down, although it is said that a railroad car full of his ideas are being held at the Office of Alien Property as classified material. Conspiracy theories are sexy…

 

7. He was a virgin when he died

…except apparently he wasn’t. We don’t really know if he was a virgin, since he had no documented relationships with either sex. He was purported to have avoided sex because it muddled the thinking process.

 

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8. He had a few great friends

And we mean great as in famous, and most of them were writers. Mark Twain frequently visited him in his lab. He played a prank on the writer with his high frequency oscillator, causing the usually constipated Twain to rush to the john after 60 seconds on the contraption. Coincidentally, the same machine is the subject of several conflicting stories that describe Tesla accidentally causing an earthquake while attempting to find the resonant frequency of a building.

 

9. He invented a freaking DEATH RAY

Tesla claimed to have designed a lightning machine that could blast bolts of electricity over two hundred miles, its range limited by only the curvature of the earth. Thankfully, he never built the machine for fear that it would fall into the wrong hands.

 

10. He almost never slept

Tesla took power naps to a whole new level. He rarely slept more than two hours at a stretch, and once stayed awake for a straight 86 hours. Forget the weary-- no rest for the crazy.

 

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There you have it, our treasure trove of Tesla trivia. Any corrections, additions, or wisecracks go in the comments section.  

 

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