Home > facts > Some Of The Biggest Screw-Ups In History
Here are some of the most dangerous as well as biggest screw-ups that had taken place in history. Some of these are incredible, while others will surely throw some light on the strangeness of the incidents.
During the Great Plague of London, people began killing cats because it was believed thats what was spreading the virus. It turned out that rats were carrying the plague, and with no cats to kill them, the rat population exploded, causing the plague to get even worse.
2 California Cedar Fire
One of the worst fires ever was in the year of 2003, in Southern California, when more than 800,000 acres worth of land was destroyed from wildfires better known as the Cedar Fire, which was the largest wildfire in the history of the state. An investigation soon discovered that a lone hunter, who was lost in the woods, had shot off a signal flare to alert rescuers that he needed help and that very blaze had quickly grown with the Sana Ana winds.
3 Late Fee
In the year 1997, Mark Randolph had somehow acquired a $40 late fee from Blockbuster on just a single movie rental. He had refused to pay, but the Blockbuster decided to sue him for the tiny amount and just take him to court. Randolph, who was very angry at the company, decided to go into the business for himself and had co-founded Netflix. Netflix is presently worth $40 billion. After two years, Blockbuster had a chance to buy Netflix and refused, and Netflix had run their competition into the ground.
4 Worlds Oldest Tree
In the year 1964, Donald Rusk Currey was studying what is known as the Little Ice Age in the White Mountains of California. He was convinced that the tree was very old, so he just began taking the core samples. One of the trees he had cut down was almost over 5000 years old, making it the worlds oldest tree. He had destroyed it. Thankfully, a new tree was then discovered in the year 2012.
5 Baker Burns Down the Entire City of London
The entire city of London, England was practically burned to the ground totally on September 2, 1666, when a very small fire broke out at Thomas Farriners bakery in the downtown region. The small spark set a pile of fuel on the fire, which spread very quickly. For almost three days London just burned, and homes, businesses, and several lives were lost only on account of one baker.
6 the Deepwater Horizon Disaster
On April 20, 2010, a BP oil rig in the gulf coast that was just miles from the Louisiana beaches, burst, pushing almost about five million plus barrels of oil from the fiery well. This oil spill is perhaps the largest in history, surpassing the 3.3 million barrels that had spilled into the Bay of Campeche in Mexico in the year 1979. The cost of cleanup and also repairs has set BP back over $41 billion so far. What is more, there are still many open cases that are just pending in the disaster.
7 Lake Peigneur
Another disaster took place in Louisiana; near Lake Peigneur in New Iberia, LA was once just a 1-foot deep freshwater lake that was enjoyed by many area residents there. However, in November of the year 1980, a Texaco oil rig that was drilled into a mine just underneath the lake, puncturing the roof and causing the entire lake to flood the entirety of the caverns with the oil.
8 Oldest Company Just Goes Under
Kong Gumi was once known for being the worlds oldest independent, company run by a family. They were founded in the year 578 but were forced to sell in 2006 after almost 50 generations that were worth of family ownership. Bad management and even hardship led to the disastrous family fortune loss.
9 Yahoo Passed On Google
When Google was still just a very small company but just growing, the search engine remained popularized by the famous Yahooooo!! TV commercials had the chance to purchase the upstart for a meager $1 million bucks, but turned it down, believing they had several different ideas. Today Yahoo! is struggling to keep afloat while Google is worth almost $225 billion and growing in fields beyond all web searches.
10 Austria Unknowingly Attacked Itself
While in the midst of a war with the Ottoman Empire, Austria just unknowingly attacked them at the Battle of Karansebes. The Ottoman army had arrived and found almost 10,000 dead Austrian soldiers. Can you just imagine?
11 Chinese Bird Famine
China suffered through the Great Chinese Famine between the years 1959 and 1961. Almost 45 million people died on account of the fact that the government and citizens decided to eradicate sparrows, believing that the birds were causing the crops to die as they ate from them very often. The dwindling sparrow numbers caused crop-eating insects to blossom resulting in the death by hunger of myriads of Chinese after only two years.
12 Selling 10% of Apple for just 800 Dollars
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak are the co-founders of Apple Inc., but Ronald Wayne was the third and lesser known, founder. He only owned just 10%, but hard up for cash, he sold his stake in the giant technology company for just $800. Today, it would be worth about $35 billion plus.
13 Hubble Space Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope, which was constructed by NASA and launched back in the year 1990, was just three weeks into its initial launch when one of the lenses, which had been incorrectly assembled, just came out of position, causing all images to appear completely distorted.
14 AOL Buys Time Warner
In the year 2000, America Online, which is better known as AOL, the leader in online social media at that time, bought Time Warner for almost $182 billion at the peak of the Dot Com Bubble. After 9 years, Time Warner bought itself back with a market capital of almost $36 billion, a huge loss of almost $178 billion. The newly separated AOL was just valued at just $2.5 billion, the New Line Cinema alone, part of the Time Warner franchise, and has since doubled its overall value to more than over $86 billion.