eclectic knowledge and serendipity

Serendipity - Eclectic facts and Serendipitous knowledge

At we believe that serendipity is the best way to explore this weird and wonderful universe of ours. Serendipity is the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely. The word derives from an old Persian fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip and was coined by Horace Walpole on 28 January 1754 in a letter he wrote to his friend Horace Mann.

In real life, many of the greatest advances in science have been discovered through serendipity. For example, High-temperature superconductivity was discovered serendipitously by physicists Johannes Georg Bednorz and Karl Alexander Müller, ironically when they were searching for a material that would be a perfect isolator (nonconducting). They were awarded the 1987 Nobel Prize in Physics for that.

Brainypedia feature articles on a wide variety of articles about offbeat corners of human knowledge. We do not pretent to have the largest encyclopedia, or the most comprehensive collection of information about anything but we are sure that you will make some "fortunate discoveries."

For example, did you know that "Serendip" was an ancient name for Sri Lanka? And have you heard of the term "Zemblanity", which is a term coined by William Boyd to mean somewhat the opposite of serendipity: "making unhappy, unlucky and expected discoveries occurring by design". It derives from Novaya Zemlya (or Nova Zembla), a cold, barren land with many features opposite to the lush Sri Lanka (Serendip). On this island Willem Barents and his crew were stranded while searching for a new route to the east.