1. Year 1867
Russia sold what it said to be a ‘useless’ land to the United States for $7.2 million. It was Alaska, a land which became a rich source of natural resources costing millions of dollars.
2. Aliens on Mars
Thanks to poor translation, we made our belief for Martians. In 1877, one Italian astronomer labeled ditches on Mars as ‘canali’ referring to ‘channels’. An American astronomer took this ‘canali’ for man-made canals and expected there was life on the planet.
3. Fatal Incident of Unsinkable Titanic
Titanic could have been saved had there been a key. The crew on Titanic’s deck could have seen the iceberg but their binoculars were locked in a closet with no key.
4. Franz Ferdinand’s Assassination
WWI started when Archduke of Austria’s chauffer took a wrong move. The duke was shot by an assassin, driving directly to him, which led to the war’s start.
5. Fall of Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall fell because a politician misjudged his speed. In 1989, while explaining little travel code revisions, an East German politician wrongly put that all travel restrictions were off.
6. The D-Day
Germany lost Normandy, termed as D-Day, when the commander of the army left for the birthday of his wife. The Allied forces took over the French cost in his absence which his army was supposed to defend.
7. Translation Error
A Japanese homonym led a bomb dropping on Hiroshima. When Allies asked for surrender from the Japanese, the Premier said ‘mokusatsum’ meaning he was considering it. This word ‘mokusatsum’ also means ‘to ignore with disrespect’, which triggered the US to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
8. Death of Joseph Stalin
He died because his guards were directed not to disturb him. Stalin suffered a severe stroke but his guards were too scared to enter his room for help.
9. The Bay of Pigs
The invasion of Cuba in 1961 failed because the initiators at Pentagon forgot about the time zones. Their fighter planes came an hour late, leaving 1400 rebels undefended.
10. Mars Climate Orbiter
In 1999, a NASA spacecraft crashed on Mars due to a programming error. The engineers forgot to change to metric, leading the Orbiter to hit with planet.
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