Human Ingenuity Knows No Bounds: The 16 Greatest Achievements of Mankind

Humanity conquered the natural world. We built roads and civilizations and then reached for the stars. 

Here are 16 of the greatest human achievements throughout history. 

Harnessing Electricity

Person holding a light bulb that's on despite not being connecting to anything.
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We saw lightning and said, “I want some of that!” the greatest minds of the 20th century harnessed one of the most incredible powers on Earth to give us the luxuries we enjoy today. 

The Written Word

Fountain pen writing in cursive on a page.
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Humanity’s ability to record our thoughts and ideas helped us achieve greatness. Scientists no longer had to start from scratch; they could build on the ideas of their forebearers.

Computer Chips

Vintage computer on a colorful bright pink desk against a bright orange wall.
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The advances of the last few decades are all due to our ability to make natural materials think. Silicon, sand, and metals were all placed together to store and process information. 


A tractor working in a field.
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Humanity’s first massive achievement led to all the rest. When we learned to grow and harvest plants, we could build communities around our fields. No longer beholden to yearly rains and migration, we could put down roots and solve even more problems. 


a red mug and open book sit next to a fireplace. There are herbs and leaves littered about.
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Before we harnessed electricity, we harnessed fire. Learning to make fire allowed us to cook food, light the way at night, heat our hairless bodies in the cold, and protect ourselves from predators. 

Vaccines and Antibiotics

Dr. vaccinating an older female patient.
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Once we mastered the macro world, we set our sights on the micro. Discovering that tiny organisms are responsible for most illnesses and finding ways to defeat them helped us all live longer, healthier lives. 

Reaching the Moon

View of the Earth from the surface of the Moon.
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We’re the only known species to purposefully leave our planet in an attempt to explore the unknown. We conquered gravity by sending a man to the moon and returning him safely. 


A person dressed in business clothes uses a small accounting calculator.
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Where would humans be without mathematical reasoning? Our ability to create complex equations using observations of the natural world and simple numbers allowed us to achieve the most remarkable feats. 

The Scientific Method

A little girl makes a mess in a science lab with an experiment gone wrong.
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After we invented math, we created a process for developing and testing hypotheses using logic. The scientific method helps us build and test new theories every day. 

The Internet

Happy young man using a laptop computer on a purple background.
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We can talk to someone on the other side of the planet instantly. We’ve built a gigantic web of information where anyone can access any information anytime. 

The Printing Press

large printer printing out a sample of all the colors.
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Before the internet, we had the printing press, which allowed us to mass-produce books. Prior to the invention, very few could read and write because it was so time-consuming to reproduce books. 

Splitting the Atom

Hands reaching toward the nucleus of an atom.
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Not only did we discover the basic building block of matter, but we split it open to learn how it works and harness the power inside. 


An old shelf filled with old and antique looking books.
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We don’t consider how impressive literature is in our daily lives. But humans are the only creatures who make up stories. Our imaginations allow us to dream up new worlds, create characters, and use allegory to describe the world we live in. 


Statue of the Greek Philosopher Socrates.
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From a non-fiction standpoint, our ability to consider the past’s connection to the present, explore abstract ideas, and think about how two very different ideas might be connected to create philosophical writings about our ultimate place in the universe is awe-inspiring. 


Cartoon image on Einstein saying his most famous equation in front of the cosmos.
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Though we haven’t fully unlocked all the secrets of the universe, the theory of relativity was a giant step forward. We know now that many measurements depend on perspective. 


A teenager comforting his sad friend.
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We’re one of the only species that looks at the suffering of another and truly feels for it. Empathy allowed us to build communities and work together. We’d never have achieved anything without it. 

Meet the People Responsible for These Innovative Changes

A black and white photo of Albert Einstein, one of the most famous scientists in history, in front of a chalk board.
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Science changed the world. These famous scientists helped make our future what it is today

Are We Living in a Simulation?

Vintage computer on a colorful bright pink desk against a bright orange wall.
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The evidence is all around us. Here are the biggest clues that we might be living in a simulation

What’s the Difference between Astronomy and Astrology?

Telescope image of nebulas in the far reaches of a galaxy to represent astronomy vs. astrology.
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One is a hard science, while the other is a belief system. Learn the difference between astronomy and astrology and discover why each holds a valid place in the world. 

The Best Discord Bots for Your Server

A man using Discord on his laptop.
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Discord is the hip new messaging platform. These bots will help you build the best server

Skills of the Future You Need To Learn Today

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The future is constantly evolving before our eyes. Entire industries are at risk of automation, but these skills will help you remain competitive in a massively changing world

Source: Reddit

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Melanie Allen is an American journalist and happiness expert. She has bylines on MSN, the AP News Wire, Wealth of Geeks, Media Decision, and numerous media outlets across the nation. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.