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10 surprising ways how mistakes shaped the modern world



No matter how much we hate them all, beetles are a crucial part of life on Earth. They help to keep our planet's ecosystem healthy, and without it, life in our world would probably look quite different.

But that's not all: Beetles have played a big role in shaping our civilization as well. Throughout our history, beetles (used here as an indication of insects, pathogens, and other species of creepy-crawlies) have changed the times of war, influenced politics, and generally played an important role in shaping the modern world.

10 Lice have stopped Napoleon's invasion of Russia

The invasion of Russia and the destruction of this process have now become a joke. Ever since the Russian region was made into an empire, very few forces, given their size and the bitterly cold winter, have been tormented by them. But not everyone was smart enough to find out for themselves. Armies like Hitler's Germany and Napoleon's France had to learn their lessons the hard way.

While the Nazis were always doomed to fought on more fronts than they could count, France had a real chance of winning. Many people think Napoleon has lost because of the same factors as Hitler, although according to some researchers it was not the cold that defeated him, but insects. [1]

A French study concluded that about a third of Napoleon's army was decimated by deadly diseases during the invasion. The worst – trench fever and typhoid fever – are caused by body lice. If it had not been for the reduced morale and losses, the result of the invasion might have been very different.

9 The Louisiana Purchase

The United States has been a great world power for so long We forget it was a tedious task to bring everything together. Even after the country gained independence, much of what we now know as US territory belonged to several factions. If certain factors do not come together at the right time for the US government, today's maps of the United States might look very different.

One of these factors was the Louisiana purchase. You see, as early as the early 19th century, a huge part of North America, known as the territory of Louisiana, was held by France under Napoleon. He had no plans to give it up and actually wanted it to be a thriving French colony on the continent.

What changed his mind was a fit of yellow fever among his soldiers fighting in the Caribbean. The disease was transmitted by mosquitoes and was particularly deadly to the French, who had no natural immunity to it. Yellow fever killed about 100 to 120 men a day.

Napoleon's failure to enforce control in the Caribbean led him to rethink his plans for the Louisiana Territory and sold it to the US government in 1803 for $ 15 million. [2]

8 Illness stopped The Japanese advance on British India


Japan's role in World War II was extensively debated and investigated, albeit mainly in connection with battles in the Pacific and Southeast Asia , One part that was often left out in the talks is his advance on British India and how close Japan was to the victory of the war if there had not been any decisive battles there.

In 1944, Japan had managed to surround two major cities in northeastern India: Kohima and Imphal. They would have taken them and set up bases for further offensives against the British if it had not been for the jungle.

Due to increasing losses due to diseases such as malaria and dysentery in the region, Japan decided to withdraw both of these beneficial positions. They lost a large part of their forces in the retreat from Burma by illness [3] and this defeat ended as a turning point of the war in the Eastern Theater. It was not just the Japanese, but also the British forces that had to deal with the diseases. However, they retained their strategic advantage, which ultimately helped them to victory.

7 When flowers conquered the world


If you look at all the plants in your environment, you will notice so many of them blooming in nature. They make up a large part of our food, gave us some of our earliest medicines, and gave us artistic inspiration when there was nothing to do. Without flowering plants life on earth would be very different.

How it happened, however, is one of the greatest secrets of biology. Before flowering plants conquered the world around 130 million years ago, the conifer was the most abundant plant type. But then flowers came out of nowhere and took over, supported by insects like honey bees and butterflies. [4]

Without pollination, flowering plants would never have been able to spread over the earth, a world that would have dramatically changed the modern natural landscape. It would not be difficult to say that insects made human civilization possible, or at least human civilization as we know it.

6 Spanish influenza helped Britain retain control of India

World War I was such a monumental event that we forget other equally important things that happened then. One of them was the Spanish flu, which probably killed more people around the world than the two world wars did in a few years. The reason why it happened so fast was the influenza virus responsible, which spread much faster than normal viruses.

While having a significant impact on many world events, one of the most significant impacts was his influence on UK-controlled India. The Indian demands for independence became louder in the face of war and Indian participation. Mahatma Gandhi had plans for independence and widespread protest once it was over, when Britain was the weakest. This was also the time when Spanish influenza appeared and, in conjunction with a widespread drought, affected a large part of the Indian population, including Gandhi. [5]

About Gandhi The British were weak and continued to enforce strict martial law (first introduced during the war) throughout the country. As a result, they were able to repress impending revolts and reassert their influence over the country for another three decades.

Without the British bases in India and the total revenue they generated, the results of World War II might have been drastically different.

5 More than half of the human body consists of microbes


Most people assume that the human body consists only of human cells. This is a fair assumption. Some are aware of the presence of bacteria in the gut, but since they do not tend to cause harm, we do not think much about it.

If you look at this, you will find that number of microbes in the body is not just more than you thought; They outnumber your cells. Human cells account for only 43 percent of the total cell count of the body. [6] Increasing research on this topic suggests that the microbial diversity in our body is much larger than we ever thought. Everything lives in us, from bacteria to mushrooms.

This does not mean that you can begin to neglect harmful organisms such as stomach bugs. The microbes in the body live with us in a kind of symbiosis, in contrast to external insects that cause damage. Scientists know that all of our pet microbes help us in some ways, but why so many of them are remains a mystery.

4 Mistakes gave us colors

We now take the different colors around us for granted But for much of our history, there was no way to reproduce them. There were no synthetic dyes at that time, and unlike nature's easy-to-find colors, it was difficult for artists and craftsmen to use the full color palette. The solution? Of course bugs.

From wasps to parasitic insects, we have a long history of using bugs to make our dyes. Take red as an example. For the longest time, the red we had was too boring to even look at, which changed when we came into contact with native Mesoamerican civilizations. They had used an insect called Cochineal to produce an almost perfect version of the red that we have seen in nature for quite some time. [7]

Another color that was particularly difficult to reproduce was Lila. Lila was acquired in the city of Tire (now Lebanon) and was obtained from a native species of molluscs. More than 9,000 of these mollusks needed just one gram of Tyrian Purple. Therefore, for the most part, Lila was a royal color that no one could afford.

3 Insects drive evolution in plants


We know that love-hate between insects and plants plays a role Much of it contributes to keeping the earth's ecosystem healthy and also to the survival of others Secure life forms. If this relationship were interrupted in any way, it would be catastrophic for us. The interplay of insects and plants has been extensively studied by science, though we are far from completely understanding its extent.

According to some research, insects may be the main drivers of plant evolution. In a study published in Science Daily researchers found that plants that were not treated with insecticides immediately develop more toxins in their fruits.

In some cases, the developed features were visible in just one generation. This suggests that plants develop not only in response to the behavior of insects, but also very quickly. Normally, evolution takes millennia to take shape, but because of insects, plants are able to evolve within a few years. It provides a strong indication of what scientists have long suspected: insects are the main reason for the overwhelming diversity of plants on Earth. [8]

2 Malaria Gave Way To Britain as we know it today


Scotland may now be part of the United Kingdom, but that has not always been the case. As early as the 17th century, Scotland was an independent kingdom with its own plans to colonize the New World. In the 1690s, about 4,000 Scots landed on the American continent and dreamed of their own colonial empire. What they misunderstood, however, was the location. They had landed in one of the deadliest jungles in the world: the Darien Gap, a part of today's Panama.

The Darien Gap is essentially a malaria swamp and notorious for its rugged terrain. The Scots had the right idea, as they were then believed to be the gateway between the Pacific and the Atlantic, although they found it a bit difficult to clear up the Enlightenment before embarking on the mission.

Within two years, half of these settlers were dead due to deadly mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and yellow fever. Scotland went bankrupt and tried to maintain the colony, which directly led to Britain joining in 1707. Without this misguided attempt at Scottish colonization – in combination with the wrath of mosquitoes – that might have changed. [9]

1 Insects were the first creatures to fly


The ability to fly is one of the most unique adaptations in nature. We do not think much about how we should because there are so many creatures, though from a evolutionary point of view it remains a mystery. We have no idea when some animals managed to breed their own wings for the first time, and many evolutionary biologists are working hard to find out.

According to recent research, insects were the first creatures to develop the ability to fly. It was a natural response to plants that grew about 400 million years ago. [10] Land plants arrived around the same time (geologically) as the earliest ancestors of insects. More importantly, insects have developed the ability to fly only once, and all subsequent flying insects have evolved from this one prototype.

You can check out Himanshu's stuff at Cracked and Screen Rant, contact him to write gigs, or just say hello to him on Twitter .



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