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11 Of The Biggest Blunders That Changed The Course Of Modern History

Perfection is an illusion. No person exists who has not made a mistake. While it's only human to err, some blunders completely changed the course of history. Some of them might have been intentional and others pure accidents, but they made it to the most important chapters in history.

Here are some of the most expensive mistakes that cost humanity a fortune:

1. Germany lost World War I because of a rumour

Reuters

In the first few weeks of the World War I, news about a million Cossack warriors rushing to attack the Western Front spread like wildfire. What is termed as the 'Russian Rumour' turned out be a series of misunderstandings on Germany's part. At one point, when soldiers, with their weird clothing and funny accents, said they were from Ross-shire, a German porter heard it as 'Russia' and spread the word that they had come to attack. The news provoked Germany to quickly change their strategy to stop the Allies from winning the war.

2. The sale of Alaska

Wikimedia Commons

150 years ago, Russia decided to sell the vast territory of Alaska to the United States on March 30, 1867, and the two countries signed a treaty to sell the land for a sum of $7.2 million for 1,518,800 square kilometres of land. Years after  the bargain, Russians realised that it was a gigantic blunder, and that they had lost access to natural resources worth billions of dollars.

3. A key could have saved the Titanic from sinking

Reuters

Officers had no access to binoculars on the bridge or in the crow’s nest – and 1,517 people perished when the ship hit an iceberg on April 15, 1912. Things may have been different if a pair of binoculars that belonged to second officer David Blair had been on board. He had transferred from the ship just before its maiden voyage and had forgotten to hand it to his replacement.

4.  The biggest wildfire in California

Reuters

A hunter lit a signal match flare, that triggered the biggest fire in California’s history. Over 300,000 acres of forest were destroyed, 2,322 homes lost and 14 people killed. The tragic incident cost a whopping $1.2 billion!

5. Piper bravo oil rig disaster

The Piper Alpha disaster that killed 167 workers on 6 July 1988 off the coast of Aberdeen is the world's deadliest ever oil rig accident. A worker forgot to screw a safety valve back on the ship which led to a gas leak leading to a huge explosion.

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6. Tiger Woods' divorce settlement in 2010

Reuters

Tiger Woods cheated on his then-wife Elin Nordegren. The divorce settlement ended up costing him $750 million. But the total loss was even higher, that includes the loss of sponsor deals with Nike, Gatorade and others.

7. When a man threw away a $181 million lottery ticket

Reuters

The stars were shinning bright for a Brit lady, who owned a lottery ticket worth $181 million, until her husband binned the ticket. The winning ticket netted the biggest jackpot ever scooped up in a Europe-wide contest.

8.  Skyscraper that melted cars

Reuters

A  London skyscraper named "Walkie-Talkie “melted cars by reflecting sunlight. The building with a concave design and mirrored glass sent 20 focused rays of light onto the street below. The glare ended up melting cars, and caused doormats is nearby shops to catch fire.

9. $225 million lost because of a misprint

Reuters

The Japanese company Mizuho Securities wanted to sell one share for ¥610,000 (about $5,000) on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Yet it seems a stockbroker hadn’t had enough sleep and made a little mistake when entering the data. He put up for sale 610,000 shares for only ¥1 each. Despite the company’s protest, the Stock Exchange processed the order, which resulted in the loss of $225 million.

10. When NASA lost a $125 million orbiter in space

NASA

NASA lost a $125 million Mars orbiter because a Lockheed Martin engineering team used English units of measurement while the agency's team used the more conventional metric system for a key spacecraft operation. The orbiter was lost in space forever.

11. Nuclear chamber explosion

Reuters

In 1978, a chamber filled with water used to cool uranium at Three Mile Island exploded in the worst nuclear accident in America. The incident cost $836.9 million.

Read Source : indiatimes.com
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