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Nikola Tesla's Craziest Unbuilt Machines That Basically Scream 'Comic Book Supervillain'

Nikola Tesla is a genius in every sense of the word. He likely was always the smartest person in every room he’s in–perhaps too smart that some people might actually consider him scary.

(Photo : Getty Images )

Serbian-American inventor and discoverer of magnetic field rotations leading to the use of alternating-currents in electrical machinery and the induction coil known as the “Tesla coil.”

And if you look at several of his craziest unbuilt techs, maybe you’ll even start to think of him as a comic book supervillain because they are, indeed, crazy advanced for his time.

Death Ray

Yes, you read that right. If you didn’t know yet, Nikola Tesla was one of the first to dream about an actual Death Ray–or at least that’s what some people believe.

His words to the press were as follows, according to (this weapon) “would cause armies of millions to drop dead in their tracks.”

In a New York Times headline dated 1915, these words were plastered: “Tesla’s New Device Like Bolts of Thor.” But according to, his device was not really pumping out lightning bolts. Instead, it would hurtle a beam made of metal ions at a blistering 270,000 miles an hour.

The iconic inventor called this weapon “teleforce,” though it wouldn’t get its eventual “death ray” moniker from the press until he proclaimed that it could accurately shoot down enemy planes from as far as 250 miles away, writes

Remember that during the time Tesla proposed his so-called death ray, the world was in the midst of WWI (though the United States won’t actually enter the war until two years later).

For now, maybe you should be thankful that Nikola Tesla’s Death Ray was never invented, based solely on the power he claimed that it had. And perhaps be thankful that the man never went full-on supervillain mode with this weapon in tow.

Read Also: Technology Predictions By Nikola Tesla That Actually Came True

Earthquake Machine

It’s impossible to create and sustain an earthquake on command, right? Well, apparently not for Nikola Tesla–if firsthand accounts of this event (and machine) are to be believed.

In 1989, Tesla allegedly made his laboratory at 48 E. Houston St. in New York shake hard enough that the neighbors were forced to call the police and an ambulance, writes Forbes.

The machine with which Tesla supposedly produced an artificial earthquake was called a “resonator,” and a 1912 article in The World Today magazine apparently wrote of it shaking a ten-story building in Wall Street. What’s even crazier is its alleged size: it was said to be small enough to fit in a coat pocket.

Other onlookers were quick to say that, if the famed inventor was given a few more minutes with his resonator, he might have been able to allegedly “bring down Brooklyn Bridge in less than an hour.”

Thought Camera

Much of Tesla’s inventions seemed outlandish for the time period he was in, like wireless electricity transmission. But perhaps this one would seem outlandish regardless of the time period: a thought camera.

Talking to reporters from the Kansas City Journal-Post in 1933, he said these words:

“A definite image formed in thought, must by reflex action, produce a corresponding image on the retina, which might be read by a suitable apparatus.”

The apparatus that Tesla is talking about will be able to “illuminate” these same thoughts and have their photographs taken, according to InterestingEngineering.

(Photo : Getty Images )

But his theories, while off in a certain way due to established research on how thought processes work, still cannot be discounted because there remains so much more about the human mind that’s not fully understood. So maybe, who knows if the inventor was up to something?

Just imagine the possibility of literally photographing what your friend or loved one is thinking at the very moment. Somebody with ill intentions could use that technology to gain wealth, influence, and power.

If that technology doesn’t scream comic book supervillain, then nothing will.

Related Article: Elon Musk Admits Not ‘Biggest Fan’ of Nikola Tesla– the Man Behind His Car Brand

This article is owned by Tech Times

Written by RJ Pierce

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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