Thought Provoking What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
34.6k 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
1,193 274
Medicine is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

2
762 272
Computer is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Dimos Dicoudis added

3
954 96
Written Language is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Written Language

4
886 185
Electric Lights is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Electric Lights

5
850 148
Agriculture is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

6
714 223
Mathmatics is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

7
639 119
Clean Water is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

8
489 194
The Printing Press is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
The Printing Press

9
629 224
Music is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

10
503 61
Tools is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Tools

11
394 134
Engine is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Engine

12
427 101
Food Preservation is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Food Preservation

13
463 159
Telephone is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

14
390 91
Toilet is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
AubriMcHughSimmons added Toilet

15
331 269
Philosophy is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

16
359 51
Books is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
DECA_Kerstin added Books

17
385 178
Internet is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
sebbzor added

18
362 30
Wheel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
slaft added

19
309 96
The Compass is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
The Compass

20
300 189
Culture is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

21
257 133
Bike is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Bike

22
400 85
Antibiotics is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Antibiotics

23
260 149
Jet Engines is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added

24
189 84
Automobiles is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
ChloeFletcher added Automobiles

25
218 143
Petrol Engine is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Petrol Engine

26
203 120
Laws is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

27
276 121
Clothing is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

28
280 93
The Battery is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
The Battery

29
202 113
Electric Locomotive is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Electric Locomotive

30
226 59
Radio is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
looksharp added Radio

31
260 59
Lens (Optics) is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Lens (Optics)

32
299 151
Air Conditioning is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

33
174 118
Helicopter is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added

34
241 99
Television is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Television

35
161 58
Trade is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Trade

36
221 92
Physics is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

37
159 105
Diesel Engine is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Diesel Engine

38
170 175
Currency is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Currency

39
203 67
Steel is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Steel

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

41
182 76
Recorded Music is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
looksharp added Recorded Music

42
223 145
Entertainment is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Entertainment

43
159 111
Airbag is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Airbag

44
137 134
Motorcycle is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Motorcycle

45
97 39
Shipping is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?

46
169 72
Electron Microscope is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Electron Microscope

47
112 109
Dynamo is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Amicus73 added Dynamo

48
165 97
Rechargable Battery is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Rechargable Battery

49
118 55
Toothbrushes is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
ChloeFletcher added Toothbrushes

50
131 49
Simple Machines is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list What Is Mankind's Greatest Invention?
Simple Machines