Thought Provoking What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
32.4k votes 2.9k voters 76.7k views 134 items

List Rules 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 ordered by

1
1,118 261
Medicine is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

2
733 260
Computer is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

3
838 169
Electric Lights is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Electric Lights

4
871 94
Written Language is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Written Language

5
793 144
Agriculture is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

6
676 207
Mathmatics is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

7
589 108
Clean Water is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

8
455 180
The Printing Press is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
The Printing Press

9
584 211
Music is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

10
456 59
Tools is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Tools

11
366 125
Engine is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Engine

12
438 151
Telephone is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

13
392 99
Food Preservation is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Food Preservation

14
360 83
Toilet is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
AubriMcHughSimmons added Toilet

15
380 132
World Wide Web is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
sebbzor added

16
317 247
Philosophy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

17
284 177
Culture is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

18
250 133
Jet Engines is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added

19
328 48
Books is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
DECA_Kerstin added Books

20
328 29
Wheel is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
slaft added

21
292 89
The Compass is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
The Compass

22
363 83
Antibiotics is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Antibiotics

23
209 130
Petrol Engine is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Petrol Engine

24
174 75
Automobiles is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
ChloeFletcher added Automobiles

25
259 117
Clothing is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

26
193 105
Electric Locomotive is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Electric Locomotive

27
265 87
The Battery is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
The Battery

28
181 109
Laws is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

29
166 111
Helicopter is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added

30
210 57
Radio is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
looksharp added Radio

31
281 147
Air Conditioning is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

32
247 56
Lens (Optics) is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Lens (Optics)

33
227 94
Television is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Television

34
206 88
Physics is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

35
250 125
Bike is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Bike

36
152 100
Diesel Engine is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Diesel Engine

37
151 53
Trade is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Trade

38
157 168
Currency is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Currency

39
136 127
Tram is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Tram

40
190 66
Steel is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Steel

41
214 140
Entertainment is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Entertainment

42
170 72
Recorded Music is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
looksharp added Recorded Music

43
134 123
Motorcycle is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Motorcycle

44
36 24
Bike is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Bike

45
109 101
Dynamo is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Dynamo

46
153 106
Airbag is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Airbag

47
165 64
Electron Microscope is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Electron Microscope

48
91 35
Shipping is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

49
158 94
Rechargable Battery is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Rechargable Battery

50
110 51
Toothbrushes is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
ChloeFletcher added Toothbrushes