Dreams That Changed Human History

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Dreams That Changed Human History


Dreams are the stories our brain tells us while we are sleeping. Most of the time, they are a collection of memories, feelings, images, clips, and many more. However, the content and purpose of dreams are not fully understood even today although they have been a topic of scientific, religious, and philosophical interests throughout history. Psychologists are not dismissing dreams as meaningless fantasies or random neural firings, and for good reason. Dreams have been responsible for several major creative and scientific discoveries in the course of human history. Here are some of them.


Frederick Banting statue / Photo by: Ken Lund via Flickr


Advances in Medicine

At age 32, Frederick Banting won a Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery of a treatment for diabetes using insulin injections. He had a unique knowledge of surgery although he was not well-versed in diabetes and clinical research. It was believed that Banting dreamed of his discovery while seeking to isolate the exact cause of diabetes. In his dream, he was told to surgically ligate (tie up) the pancreas of a diabetic dog to stop the flow of nourishment. He did after waking up and discovered a disproportionate balance between sugar and insulin. Another dream led him to another breakthrough, this time, how to develop insulin as a drug to treat diabetes.



Google founder Larry Page / Photo by: Trendchaser



The idea for the biggest search engine today came from dreams. According to an article by TrendChaser, an online site, which features content that connects audiences to interesting facts, stories, and many more,  Larry Page, a computer scientist and CEO of Google, dreamed that he could create a business downloading the web onto people’s computers. Along with co-founder Sergey Brin, they developed Google and changed the way we use the internet.



Twilight author Stephenie Meyer / Photo by: Trendchaser



“Twilight,” a 2008 American romantic-fantasy film based on the novel of the same name by Stephenie Meyer, changed the way pop culture depicted vampires. It also featured human-vampire love relationships and showed that vampire skin sparkled when in the Sun but didn’t burn. But not everyone knows that the idea came from a dream Meyer had. According to the author, she dreamed of a human girl sitting in a meadow with a vampire, and not being afraid.



Srinivasa Ramanujan / Photo by: Trendchaser


Numerous Mathematical Theorems

Srinivasa Ramanujan was known as a mathematical genius. Throughout his lifetime, he was able to make substantial contributions to the field, such as infinite series, continued fractions, elliptical functions, and the analytical theory of numbers. Ramanujan also proved more than 3,000 mathematical theorems. It was revealed that the math genius repeatedly dreamed of a Hindu goddess known as Namakkal, who showed him complex mathematical formulas over and over. "While asleep I had an unusual experience. There was a red screen formed by flowing blood as it were. I was observing it. Suddenly a hand began to write on the screen. I became all attention. That hand wrote a number of results in elliptic integrals. They stuck to my mind. As soon as I woke up, I committed them to writing,” Ramanujan said. 



Frankenstein / Photo by: Trendchaser



“Frankenstein” is another example of a literary and fictional idea that came from the dreams of the creator. According to author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, she dreamed the idea for Frankenstein after Lord Byron (a fellow poet she was visiting) challenged his guests to write a ghost story. In her dream, she saw the moment when Dr. Frankenstein brought his chilling creation to life. The next day, Shelley began writing the fascinating tale.



Albert Einstein / Photo by: Trendchaser


The Speed of Light

The Theory of Relativity introduced by Albert Einstein changed the world of physics. But this extraordinary scientific achievement came after the genius had a vivid dream. According to an article by World of Lucid Dreaming, an online site featuring fascinating topics, Einstein dreamed he was sledding down a steep mountainside. He approached the speed of light and the stars in his dream changed their appearance in relation to him. Einstein discovered the principle of relativity in that particular dream. 



Niels Bohr / Photo by: QWerk via Wikimedia Commons


The Structure of the Atom

Niels Bohr, the father of quantum physics, was awarded a Nobel Prize for Physics after explaining the structure of the atom. This discovery literally happened overnight. Bohr dreamed about atoms, seeing the nucleus of the atom with electrons spinning around it. When he woke up, he rushed to his lab and searched for evidence to support his dream. Eventually, he proved his dream to be correct, becoming one of the greatest breakthroughs in the world.



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