Do you know the butterfly effect? It means that just one seemingly small action has a larger consequence on the world. The butterfly effect seems most apparent in these seemingly little things that changed the world’s history!
#1 Cleopatra’s Long Nose = Strong Roman Empire
Many writers have surmised that if Cleopatra’s nose was shorter and she was not so beautiful, Caesar and Mark Anthony would not have stayed so long in Egypt to visit Cleopatra. But their prolonged stay created something good. Rivals were able to build their own power in Rome, putting Augustus in the throne. August was able to carve a strong Roman Empire with a wide influence through Europe. A woman’s beauty, indeed!
#2 A Smack on the Nose = World War I
In 1878, during the holidays, Alfie Price, then 16, bopped the nose of Kaiser Wilhelm II (picture below), then 19, for throwing stones at the beach huts in Ilfracombe, North Devon in England. Many say that due to this incidence, Wilhelm II hated all things British. This hatred led to World War I (check out these scary masks during the war). Watch out for any nose whippings!
#3 Hemorrhoid Attack = The Fall of Waterloo
Napoleon got hemorrhoids during the Battle of Waterloo. This prevented him from riding his horse (contrary to popular belief, Napoleon was not short, so he stayed quite stable on his horse) and keeping a close eye on his soldiers. To make things worse, his “smart” doctors lost the leeches that could relieve him of his pain and accidentally gave him an overdose of laudanum. His pain contributed to his infamous (and maybe, embarrassing) downfall in history.
#4 Run In Front of the King’s Horse = Women’s Right for Suffrage
In 1913, Emily Davison ran in front of the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby. It is widely believed that she died for the cause of giving women the right for suffrage. So ladies, make your vote count!
#5 A Cup of Tea = The Industrial Revolution
One of the main factors required for industrialization to grow is for people to gather in big groups. But this could be a problem when large crowds typically increases the spread of diseases. But due to the British people’s love of tea made with freshly boiled water, the bacteria was kept at bay. In other words, the British stayed healthy and the Industrial Revolution moved forward! Now let’s all have a spot of tea, shall we (with these classic British food, we presume)?
#6 One Birthday Party = D-Day
The German commander, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (in the picture below), celebrated his wife’s birthday on the day the Allies launched the Normandy Landings. So when he left France for his wife’s birthday, the allies were able to make their invasion, thus defeating the Nazis. It was said that Rommel regretted going to his wife’s birthday (but we are all actually thankful!).
#7 No Binoculars = Sinking Titanic
David Blair, a second officer of the Titanic, forgot to hand over the key to his locker, which had the ship’s binoculars. After the ship sank, a lookout who survived said that if they had those binoculars, the iceberg collision would have been avoided. Sigh, then Jack would’ve still been alive to be with Rose (yes, we know they’re fictional!). Note: the binoculars in the picture is actually an artifact from the Titanic!
#8 Mistranslation = The Dropping of the First Atomic Bomb
During World War II, allied leaders demanded that the Japanese surrender. While the Japanese’s reply was supposed to be “no comment,” they used the Japanese word “mokusatsu,” which can also be translated to “ignore.” An American interpreter interpreted it as such and subsequently more fuel to the flame. This eventually lead to the dropping of the first atomic bomb in Hiroshima, known as one of the biggest and most horrific bombings in the world’s history.
#9 Art School Rejection = Hitler’s Horrific Revenge
Although it is common knowledge that Adolf Hitler got rejected from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, few know that he got rejected not once, but twice. Many have assumed he formed his anti-Semitic prejudices due to those rejections from whom he believed was a Jewish professor. Picture below: one of Hitler’s paintings he copied from a postcard.
#10 Lead Pipes = The Fall of the Roman Empire
Although many point to a lot of factors that led to the fall of the Roman Empire, it could be that lead, used by the Romans in water pipes and bath linings, could be the culprit. A Roman writing in the 1st Century A.D. noted that masters were weaker and unable to endure labor than the servant class. What was unknown then was that the mysterious illnesses came from lead in water, wine, food, even cosmetics! The lead’s toxicity and ability to create mental instability and weakness could have played a major role in the fall of the Roman Empire.