25 Of The Biggest Blunders Of All Time

Published 2 weeks ago

If there is one thing we have learned in life, it’s that mistakes can happen to anyone. The consequences, however, can vary from impacting just one person to an entire nation depending on the level of responsibility carried by the decision-maker.

Indeed, quite a few decisions taken by past leaders still impact our daily lives to this day. Redditors got to recollecting such moments that have led to terrible outcomes, when someone asked online, “What was arguably the biggest f***-up in history?”

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#1 Giving religions tax free status.

Image source: VoiceGuyNextDoor

#2 Some guy introduced rabbits to Australia in 1788 so that he could hunt them for sport.

Image source: GotPC, Satyabratasm / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#3 “20th Century Fox let George Lucas keep all the merchandising rights for Star Wars because they thought it would be a giant flop and no one would watch it.” “George Lucas is now worth 5.3 billion dollars.”

Image source: Tobazili, Jonathan Cooper / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#4 The wrong turn that driver made in 1914.

Image source: MarcusQuintus

#5 Vitruvius not see the potential of steam to Move things with the Heron Engine. Only saw it as an amusing toy. The Steam Age and Industrial Revolution could of happened in 1st Century Greece.

Image source: ATA_VATAV, wikipedia

#6 Corporations are people. Money is speech.

Image source: Arkmer, Giorgio Trovato / unsplash (not the actual photo)

These simple assertions have guided America toward more greed and more war than any other decision in history. It has set us on the path towards far worse ends than most other single events.

#7 A governor of the Khwarazmian Empire killed a peaceful emissary from a neighboring empire, who had been sent to establish trade relations and political connections between the two powers.

Image source: JackCooper_7274, 13th century artist

The emissary was sent by Genghis Khan. Genghis Khan replied by invading the Khwarazmian Empire, obliterating everything in his path, burning basically the entire thing to the ground, and then destroying any record of the Khwarazmian Empire that he could find. He finished all of this off by diverting the river that fed the country water, causing the land where the empire once stood to become a dry and barren wasteland. Possibly one of the biggest mess ups in history.

#8 So that one fish decided to try what happens when you leave the water.. That’s when it really started to go downhill!

Image source: WindpowerGuy, Johannes Plenio / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#9 In 1350, the Scots heard that England was having a spot of trouble with the bubonic plague, and decided to launch an invasion that would take advantage of the English, who were dropping like flies and would thus be easy pickings. The Scots invading army lost 5000 men to the plague in very short order. They decided to cut their losses and fall back to Scotland to be safe. Of course they brought the great plague with them, which devastated Scotland too.

Image source: Sauterneandbleu, Marcus Ganahl / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#10 I think the best political f**k-up happened in 1984 when New Zealand’s arrogant prime minister got drunk in his office late one night and called a snap election in two week’s time. His government was voted out. It became known as the Schnapps Election.

Image source: Fresh-Hedgehog1895, Element5 Digital / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#11 In American history: Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which made corporate bribery legal. Government no longer served the people from that point on.

Image source: someSingleDad

#12 Blockbuster not buying Netflix.

Image source: PayasoCanuto, Bidgee / wikipedia (not the actual photo)

#13 Allowing a handful of people control the vast majority of media.

Image source: Lumpy-Log-5057

#14 The amazing development of chlorofluorocarbons to replace toxic, ammonia, sulphur dioxide, and chloromethane in refrigerators. It was so successful and safe that it rapidly became the refrigerant of choice. Right up until the moment we discovered that it had been reacting with sunlight to produce radical free chlorines that obliterated the ozone layer causing a massive spike in skin cancer rates (among other things).

Or what about Tetraethyllead! This amazing additive made cars massively more efficient saving huge amounts of petrol. It also significantly increased lead levels around the world and is responsible for a significant decrease in intelligence for people born during the time of its use. Although it’s hard to call this a fuckup, as GM and its inventor Thomas Midgley Jr. were aware of the dangers and played them down.

Wait a minute, the person that invented chloroflorocarbons was also Thomas Midgley Jr. Environmental Historian, J.R. McNeil once claimed that Midgley “had more adverse impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in Earth’s history”.

Midgley had one more fuckup to give, but fortunately for all of us, it only affected him. Later in life he became disabled after he contracted polio. To aid in his mobility he designed a system of ropes and pulleys to aid getting out of bed. He was found strangled to death by his own contraption at age 55.

So I submit Thomas Midgley Jr. himself as arguably the biggest f**k-up in history.

Image source: Somerandom1922

#15 Not the worst, but that incident where they sent out an emergency alert saying “inbound ballistic missile threat to Hawaii. This is not a drill” always sticks out in my mind. People were seeking shelter in manholes, and it took them 45 minutes to send out a follow up alert saying “just kidding. Everything is ok”. I can’t even imagine.

Image source: jhumph88, Apple Inc.

#16 Brexit.

Image source: LegionGold

#17 “Mao’s push to have farmers in China produce their own steel using backyard furnaces, which lead to a wacky chain reaction eventually leading to a famine that killed millions.”

Image source: Belyea, неизвестный (unknown

“Mao also ordered the extermination of sparrows in an attempt to protect grain crops. Millions of sparrows were killed, allowing locusts to proliferate.

“The locusts consumed so many crops that there was widespread famine and 45 million people died.”

#18 Chernobyl! Only a f**k-up of epic proportions can cause a nuclear incident while doing a safety test! April 26th! The Anniversary of the accident is today.

Image source: Ta-veren-, Vladyslav Cherkasenko / unsplash (not the actual photo)

#19 Yahoo not buying Google.

Image source: FatBirdsMakeEasyPrey, Beraldo Leal / wikipedia (not the actual photo)

#20 In 1912 China was a functioning and promising democracy (for the first time ever) and it was ruined by one general (Yuan Shikai) who couped the government and declared himself emperor.

Image source: _Kian_7567

#21 In retail history, probably Sears not realizing that they were basically Amazon before Amazon. Mail order with warehouses all over the United States. How could you improve that business model? Oh, the Internet you say? Never heard of it.

Image source: vicki22029, Phillip Pessar / wikipedia (not the actual photo)

#22 Letting politicians trade stocks.

Image source: _redacteduser

#23 The IPCC decision to go with the more conservative climate change modeling in the 1980s.

Image source: Solomon-Drowne, Chris LeBoutillier / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Essentially the question at the time was ‘does heat accumulate at the poles, or does it dissipate into space’? They went with the dissipation models, even though they were in contradiction to geological evidence, because it had never been directly observed. And now, everything is ‘sooner than expected’ and ‘faster than anticipated.’

Yeah because you guys f****d up. The biggest f**k up in history, by orders of degrees. Haha.

#24 If Parliament had just given the colonies their own representation in the House of Commons they could have likely avoided the entire Revolutionary War and the US would not have formed. We’d likely have like 9 smaller versions of Canada on the East Coast with a large Mexico and several interior Native American nations today.

Image source: Shepher27

#25 Norway wanted to give Sweden 50% of our oil profits in exchange for 50% of Volvo. Sweden’s government said no as one of their ministers meant that “there is no future in oil”. Norway’s sovereign fund (the oil fund) can now purchase every single stock on the Swedish stock exchange and still have money left over.

Image source: smolymartin, Adam Cai / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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biggest historical mistakes, historical blunders, historical mistakes, history, monumental mistakes
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