Thought Provoking What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
34.5k votes 3k voters 78.3k views 203 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
1,190 274
Medicine is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

2
761 270
Computer is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Dimos Dicoudis added

3
951 96
Written Language is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Written Language

4
886 184
Electric Lights is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Electric Lights

5
849 148
Agriculture is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

6
713 222
Mathmatics is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

7
637 119
Clean Water is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

8
489 192
The Printing Press is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
The Printing Press

9
627 224
Music is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

10
501 61
Tools is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Tools

11
394 133
Engine is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Engine

12
426 100
Food Preservation is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Food Preservation

13
463 158
Telephone is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

14
390 90
Toilet is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
AubriMcHughSimmons added Toilet

15
331 268
Philosophy is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

16
359 50
Books is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
DECA_Kerstin added Books

17
385 177
Internet is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
sebbzor added

18
361 30
Wheel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
slaft added

19
308 96
The Compass is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
The Compass

20
300 188
Culture is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

21
257 132
Bike is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Bike

22
260 148
Jet Engines is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added

23
399 85
Antibiotics is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Antibiotics

24
189 83
Automobiles is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
ChloeFletcher added Automobiles

25
218 142
Petrol Engine is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Petrol Engine

26
202 120
Laws is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

27
275 121
Clothing is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

28
280 92
The Battery is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
The Battery

29
202 112
Electric Locomotive is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Electric Locomotive

30
226 58
Radio is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
looksharp added Radio

31
259 59
Lens (Optics) is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Lens (Optics)

32
299 150
Air Conditioning is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

33
174 117
Helicopter is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added

34
241 98
Television is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Television

35
160 58
Trade is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Trade

36
220 92
Physics is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

37
159 104
Diesel Engine is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Diesel Engine

38
170 174
Currency is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Currency

39
202 67
Steel is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Steel

40
139 138
Tram is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Tram

41
182 75
Recorded Music is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
looksharp added Recorded Music

42
222 145
Entertainment is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Entertainment

43
159 110
Airbag is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Airbag

44
137 133
Motorcycle is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Motorcycle

45
97 38
Shipping is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

46
169 71
Electron Microscope is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Electron Microscope

47
112 108
Dynamo is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Dynamo

48
165 96
Rechargable Battery is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Rechargable Battery

49
118 54
Toothbrushes is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
ChloeFletcher added Toothbrushes

50
131 48
Simple Machines is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Simple Machines