Nikola Tesla made many predictions for the 21st century that turned out true in the past two decades. Credit: Imgur

10 Interesting Things You Did Not Know About Nikola Tesla

The one and only, Nikola Tesla.


Nikola Tesla. The man. The myth. The Legend. Born in the town of Smiljani, Croatia, Nikola Tesla was an inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and physicist. He is widely recognized for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. But there are many other things we owe to this great mind. Despite his prominence in history, there remain numerous fascinating, lesser-known facts about this extraordinary mind.

10 Interesting Things You Did Not Know About Nikola Tesla

1. Tesla’s Visionary Foresight

Tesla’s foresight was way ahead of his time. He conceptualized the possibility of wireless communication back in the late 19th century, a full century before it became a reality. Tesla even envisaged the creation of a handheld device that would enable instant communication across the globe, effectively predicting the modern smartphone.


2. Phobia of Pearls and Germaphobe Tendencies

Tesla had some unusual habbits. He intensely disliked pearls and could not bear to be in the same room as a woman wearing pearl jewelry. Additionally, he had a germaphobic tendency, preferring to dine alone and using 18 napkins to clean his dining room and silverware meticulously.

3. The Tesla Unit

Few people know that there is a unit of measurement named after Tesla. The “Tesla” is the SI unit of magnetic flux density, and it was recognized in his honor in 1960, nearly 17 years after his death. This puts him in the same league as scientists like Isaac Newton and James Watt. One tesla is equal to one weber per square metre.

4. Pigeon Lover

Tesla had a peculiar fondness for pigeons. He often fed them from his hotel room window and spent considerable sums rehabilitating injured pigeons. Tesla claimed to have a particularly profound bond with a white female pigeon that visited him.


5. Genius with Eidetic Memory

Tesla possessed an eidetic memory, often referred to as a photographic memory. He could memorize entire books and images and could even recall intricate details of items he glimpsed momentarily. This ability allowed him to conduct complex experiments entirely in his mind before physically constructing his inventions.

6. The Forgotten Patent Battle

Tesla and Thomas Edison had a notorious rivalry, particularly over electrical current systems. But few know about a less-publicized patent dispute with Guglielmo Marconi. Tesla initially patented the design for a radio before Marconi, but due to financial troubles and the U.S. Patent Office’s decision, Marconi was granted the patent. However, after Tesla’s death, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned this decision, recognizing Tesla as the rightful inventor of the radio.

7. The Financially Challenged Genius

Despite his numerous inventions and ideas, Tesla often found himself in financial difficulties. Many of his projects were backed by benefactors like J.P. Morgan and George Westinghouse, but his lack of business acumen meant he never became as wealthy as his contemporaries, like Edison.

8. Eccentric Sleeping Habits

Known for his workaholic nature, Tesla claimed to sleep for only two hours per day, although he admitted to dozing off occasionally to “recharge.” His sleep patterns would be considered highly unusual today and are in stark contrast to the recommended 7-9 hours.

9. Showman Scientist

Tesla had a flair for the dramatic. He would often invite journalists to his lab to show off his inventions, lighting up lamps without wires and sending electricity through his body to create light. This approach gained him much attention and made science appealing to the general public.


10. Mysterious Death Ray

Towards the end of his life, Tesla claimed to have developed a directed-energy weapon, often referred to as the “Death Ray.” However, no credible evidence of such an invention has been found, and the concept remains the stuff of science fiction.

Nikola Tesla’s life was a unique blend of genius, eccentricity, and vision. His groundbreaking inventions and ideas continue to impact our lives today, and his lesser-known aspects make his story even more intriguing. So, the next time you use your smartphone or turn on a light, remember the man who saw these possibilities before anyone else.

PLEASE READ: Have something to add? Visit Curiosmos on Facebook. Join the discussion in our mobile Telegram group. Also, follow us on Google News. Interesting in history, mysteries, and more? Visit Ancient Library’s Telegram group and become part of an exclusive group.

Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

Write for us

We’re always looking for new guest authors and we welcome individual bloggers to contribute high-quality guest posts.

Get In Touch