Leonardo Da Vinci may be the ultimate jack of all trades. Indeed, artist, inventor and scientist are just some of the titles that Da Vinci held during his 67-year long life.
And while Da Vinci lived a handful of centuries before we were even thought of, it is many of his forward-thinking prototypes that have provided the foundation for the most innovative inventions in recent memory.
Da Vinci Inventions: The Parachute
Forever fascinated by the possibility of flight, Da Vinci spent much of his time thinking up ways to get mankind in the air–and perhaps more importantly, how to get them back down safely. Eventually, he came up with the first-ever parachute; a wooden pyramid structure draped with a piece of cloth that would slow down a person’s terminal velocity as they fell to earth. As Da Vinci himself wrote, it allowed man to “throw himself down from any great height without suffering any injury.”
A razor-sharp mind might be a nation’s best national defense mechanism, so it should come as no surprise that Da Vinci’s was employed by the military to find ways of increasing its chances in warfare.
Originally designed as a way of warding off invading ships, Da Vinci’s diving suit would allow men to engage in a little underwater sabotage by cutting holes in the bottom of the enemy’s hull. Unfortunately, the design, complete with breathing hose and glass goggles, wasn’t needed at the time and would only find itself submerged in planning stages.