What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention? Anything
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6  reranks 2,513 votes 306 voters 4,472 views more info

What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

List Criteria: Most innovative and groundbreaking inventions and discoveries in history

What is mankind's greatest invention? This list includes some of the most innovative, ground breaking inventions ever. Each invention listed here in some way changed history, altering the way we live our lives. Some inventions, like medicine, help to extend our lives and others, like the wheel, changed the way we get around, transport goods and just generally do anything. Which of mankind's inventions do you believe is the most important? Time to vote, and be sure to rerank this list in any order you like.

The most famous inventors in history have made contributions that stand the test of time. From electricity to fire to telephones, mankind's greatest inventions and discoveries help define who we are today. Can any of you argue that the computer is not one of the most notable inventions ever? Certainly not, given that the computer is how many of you are reading this list right now. Of course, everyone at one time or another has an idea for a new invention.

Sometimes inventors with the best of intentions wind up foiled by their own creations. And, in case you think all great inventions were created by men, think again: This list of history's most under-appreciated female inventors will set you straight.
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
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  1. 1
    Up 172
    Down 12

    the people's #1
    Language

    100
  2. 2
    Up 130
    Down 24
    95
  3. 3
    Up 116
    Down 24

    The Wheel

    92
  4. 4
    Up 123
    Down 26

    most listed
    Agriculture

    91
  5. 5
    Up 103
    Down 21
    86
  6. 6
    Up 118
    Down 24
    84
  7. 7
    Up 89
    Down 10

    Electric Lights

    84
  8. 8
    Up 79
    Down 14

    Fire

    76
  9. 9
    Up 70
    Down 37
    71
  10. 10
    Up 49
    Down 11
    70
  11. 11
    Up 79
    Down 31
    70
  12. 12
    Up 53
    Down 9

    Electricity

    67
  13. 13
    Up 47
    Down 21
    65
  14. 14
    Up 49
    Down 25

    Entertainment

    65
  15. 15
    Up 51
    Down 24

    Humor

    61
  16. 16
    Up 44
    Down 20
    60
  17. 17
    Up 36
    Down 32

    Relationships

    54
  18. 18
    Up 20
    Down 8
    53
  19. 19
    Up 29
    Down 18

    Law

    52
  20. 20
    Up 36
    Down 22
    49
  21. 21
    Up 27
    Down 2

    ranked low on reranks
    Clean Water

    46
  22. 22
    Up 16
    Down 19

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Rechargable Battery

    43
  23. 23
    Up 24
    Down 11

    Numbers

    41
  24. 24
    Up 7
    Down 1

    Monotheism

    40
  25. 25
    Up 7
    Down 1

    Food Preservation

    39
  26. 26
    Up 6
    Down 0

    Written Language

    39
  27. 27
    Up 6
    Down 0

    The Printing Press

    39
  28. 28
    Up 6
    Down 1

    Electricity

    39
  29. 29
    Up 6
    Down 1

    Water Purification

    38
  30. 30
    Up 7
    Down 3

    Religion

    38
  31. 31
    Up 6
    Down 2

    Steel

    38
  32. 32
    Up 7
    Down 3

    The Compass

    38
  33. 33
    Up 7
    Down 2

    Lens (Optics)

    38
  34. 34
    Up 7
    Down 2

    Antibiotics

    38
  35. 35
    Up 5
    Down 2

    Polytheism

    37
  36. 36
    Up 5
    Down 2

    Engine

    37
  37. 37
    Up 6
    Down 3

    new! Currency

    37
  38. 38
    Up 4
    Down 1

    The Battery

    37
  39. 39
    Up 4
    Down 1

    Biology

    37
  40. 40
    Up 5
    Down 1

    Plumbing

    37
  41. 41
    Up 3
    Down 0

    The Machine Gun

    37
  42. 42
    Up 3
    Down 1

    Steam Engine

    37
  43. 43
    Up 3
    Down 0

    Chemistry

    37
  44. 44
    Up 5
    Down 2

    Animal Husbandry

    37
  45. 45
    Up 3
    Down 0

    Tank

    37
  46. 46
    Up 5
    Down 2

    Pharmacology

    37
  47. 47
    Up 3
    Down 0

    Simple Machines

    37
  48. 48
    Up 3
    Down 0

    Automobile

    37
  49. 49
    Up 3
    Down 1

    The Large Hadron Collider

    37
  50. 50
    Up 5
    Down 2

    Transistors

    37
  51. 65 +

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