Of course, most of us know who Leonardo da Vinci is, the man behind the famous Mona Lisa painting, which remains as one of his biggest contributions to the world. People line up at the Louvre just to catch a glimpse of it. The rest of us just see it online.
But other than Mona Lisa, there are other inventions and creations by Leonardo da Vinci that many people might not know about. Because he was not only an artist but was also well-versed in areas like mathematics, science, music, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, paleontology, and cartography.
Leonardo could draw, sculpt, and invent things, such as the following.
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In a classroom or office of any sort, scissors are almost always present. Regardless of what color their handles are, whether they are used specifically in the kitchen or as garden shears, scissors are used to cut a piece away from something. Although ZME Science reported that there are varying stories about who really invented the scissors, with Romans and Egyptians being attributed variously as the first who made or utilized scissors, it is with Leonardo that the scissors are most associated because he made them compact and easy to use.
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The Armored Car
Leonardo drafted what would become known as the tank today. As reported by Leonardo.org, a website dedicated to articles and facts celebrating the man, Leonardo would spend a copious amount of time imagining military vehicles. This is probably due to the fact that he lived in a time when the threat of war was almost constant. According to the website, Leonardo’s armored car could only fit six men inside and had only light cannons.
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At the tail end of the Middle Ages, Leonardo reworked the parachute as well. This version of his doesn’t get much attention, and that’s because there were similar sketches of triangular parachutes that surfaced that was older than Leonardo’s drawings. However, the turning point came when British skydiver Adrian Nicholas tried out his design in 2000 and proved that it works. The report came from History Lists, a website that offers lists of people, places, events, and artifacts that tell a story about the past and challenge our understanding of history.
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Before the idea of flight inspired engineers to make airplanes using the concept of aerodynamics, Leonardo was a little bit more inspired by birds. He even dubbed this invention “ornithopter” and recreated the action of birds and birds in flight. Unfortunately, this machine, with its flapping wings and muscle-powered energy, never really took flight literally. His understanding of aerodynamics seemed pretty solid from his sketches, however, and would go on to inspire so many engineers.
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Although Leonardo considered himself a humanist, his other inventions were still inspired by his war-torn time. According to Leonardo.org, it is important to note that such a weapon was only built by the famed artist as an attempt at intimidation. His humanist nature was grounded in the firm knowledge of what war did to people. Nevertheless, the giant crossbow was still built, measuring 27 yards long. It had six wheels so it could be moved from one place to another.
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We know what you’re thinking: “No way. Robots are way too advanced for Leonardo’s time period!” And you would be right…by only a little bit. Leonardo’s robot was different in that it sat, stood, and moved its arms with the help of a series of pulleys and cables. Despite it being made around the year 1495, his robot, which he called an automaton, was fully functional. From this early dip in robotics, Leonardo also made a mechanical lion.
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For a humanist, Leonardo seems to have made a lot of warfare-related inventions, and one of these was the machine gun. While incredibly different from the modern machine guns we have now, his was still ahead of its time. History Lists explained that Leonardo’s machine gun fired bullets from individual guns connected in three rows. It was only in the 19th century that it was recorded to have been used as a rapid-fire weapon, discovered abandoned in a battlefield.