Electrifying facts about Nikola Tesla that you never knew

1. Tesla was briefly reduced to digging ditches for a living.

While he searched for backers to support his research into alternating current, Tesla took a job digging ditches for $2 a day to make ends meet.

2. He invented a remote-controlled boat that he thought could end all warfare.

He told the New York Post that his invention, which would allow battles to be fought without putting humans at risk, would render warfare itself obsolete.

3. His claims of receiving signals from outer space were proven right—a century later.

In 1996 scientists published a study replicating Tesla’s experiment and showing that the signal was, in fact, caused by the moon Io passing through Jupiter’s magnetic field.

4. Tesla was an environmentalist.

According to Alcorn, Tesla was “very concerned about the fact that we were using up the Earth’s resources too quickly, and he wanted to make sure that we were using nonfossil, renewable fuels.”

5. Tesla rarely slept and suffered from OCD.

Tesla claimed to have required only two hours of sleep a night, although he occasionally napped. He polished every dining implement he used to perfection, using 18 napkins.

6. Many of his inventions are still classified

Tesla died in 1943, but the U.S. government still classifies some of his inventions and experiments.

7. Thomas Edison offered Tesla a fortune ($50,000) to improve his existing system of generating electricity.

 When Tesla succeeded, Edison said, “Haha, just kidding.” True story.

8. Tesla’s A.C. (alternating current) violently conflicted with Edison’s D.C. (direct current).

Direct current required power plants every square mile, making it wildly inefficient compared to A.C.

9. Edison held public electrocutions of cats and dogs, and even elephants, among other animals.

He did it just to “prove” that A.C. was too dangerous to use 

10. Tesla died a broke humanitarian.

“Tesla did what he did for the betterment of humanity, to help people have a better quality of life,” said Alcorn. 

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