A casual internet search on Tesla these days will typically turn up a few pages of everyday news along the lines of… will Tesla meet its ambitious delivery targets, will the gigafactory get more gigas, has anyone else been maimed in a bizarre self-driving incident, are the solar panels junk or the best thing since sliced bread, or an occasional Twitter rant by the Tesla Inc founder and CEO, Elon Musk.
One might almost think that everyone’s forgotten about the ‘real’ Tesla, Nikola, whose work still surrounds us on a daily (and nightly) basis, including alternating currents, remote controls, radios, neon lights, and the Tesla coil.
Yet if you ask anyone who Tesla is, they will inevitably think of Elon Musk. So much for the American education system.
Following Nikola Tesla’s death in a New York hotel room in 1943, the U.S. Government took possession of all his possessions in order to “stop them from falling into enemy hands”. Much of his work was later released for the public, but some pieces of his work have remained a secret.
In his day, Nikola Tesla - holder of more than 270 patents in 27 countries - was considered eccentric, which in this day and age would have likely earned him a handful of medical diagnoses and a bucket full of prescriptions to match.
Related: The Cheapest Oil Ever Sold
But back then, he was just a bizarre, mad genius, free to invent at will, and free to come up with a ton of ideas that would never materialize - at least as far as we know.
There are plenty of conspiracy theorists who claim that Nikola Tesla’s inventions have been secretly used by the US and other governments since his death. And who are we to argue?
The Death Ray…of Peace?
Just before he died, Tesla appeared to have been working on some form of tele-force weapon, a so-called Death Ray.
The theory is that Tesla believed it could be used to build an invisible Chinese Wall of defense around the country, destroying invaders with nothing but electricity. Even though it would be a powerful weapon, Tesla ostensibly hoped (as doe-eyed inventors are prone to do) that the applications of his invention would be peaceful. With the defense weapon available to everyone, Tesla hoped that he could completely eliminate warfare. But we know how that goes.
In 1994, the US Navy and New Zealand authorities initiated a top-secret operation, code-named "Project Seal,” which was revealed to the public only a few years ago. The two countries conducted secret tests with a "tsunami bomb" designed to destroy coastal cities by using underwater blasts to trigger massive tidal waves.
Last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that Russia was developing a nuclear-powered torpedo able to create a 300-foot tsunami.
Interestingly enough, back in 1908, it was reported that Nikola Tesla was working on an “Artificial Tidal Wave”, which he believed would be the ultimate defense against enemy navies. Tesla claimed that in the event of war, a hostile navy could be swamped by a huge tidal wave created by the explosion at sea of a large quantity of nitroglycerine.
Shake & Quake
In 1898, Tesla announced that he had developed an oscillator that was able to shake a building to its core, along with everything around it.
While experimenting, his New York City laboratory began to shake so violently that it almost brought down the entire building. Understanding the potential danger of his invention, Tesla is rumored to have broken the device that even Daisy Johnson would be proud of with a hammer. Even though there is no hard evidence that any nation developed his earthquake machine, there is a long list of people who believe that HAARP is doing exactly that.
On a less gloomy note, but no less scary, Tesla also believed it possible to photograph one’s thoughts - a notion that has intelligence agencies and jealous spouses the world over salivating. In the 1930s, Tesla imagined a machine that would allow one to project a mental image in real life and playback thoughts like a slideshow.
Related: Russia Ready To Seize Control Of The World's Largest Oil Reserves
In 1893, at the World Exhibition in Chicago, Tesla demonstrated the wireless transmission of electricity, hoping that one day, with the help of this technology, it would be possible to transmit electricity over long distances in the atmosphere, providing distant areas with the necessary energy.
In 1907, he built a tower that would become the start of a system that could deliver electricity, without wires, to the whole world. He ran out of money to finish it.
The world finally finished it for him. And anyone reading this article right now should be praising this early god of the internet.
Photo by Goran Jakus / Zagreb, Croatia: First world replica of the Nikola Tesla Tower as a stage on the 13th INmusic festival
Let it never be forgotten that there is only really one true Tesla – Nikola, one of the world’s most undervalued geniuses.
By Julianne Geiger for oilprice.com
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:
- Is This The End Of The Lithium-Ion Battery?
- Electric Vehicle Adoption Overshadowed By SUV Boom
- The Single Biggest Threat To U.S. Oil Jobs