13 World-Changing Ideas That Came from Dreams (Literally)
Updated: Jun 29
Some dreams are so powerful that they can change the world. Dreams can be a source of inspiration. People have been inspired by their dreams in the past, and they’ll continue being inspired in the future. It all comes down to how well you interpret your dreams. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that all dreams have a meaning. Some dreams are pointless and don’t mean anything, really!
You’ll be surprised to know that some of the greatest, world-changing ideas came from dreams, quite literally. Let’s look at 13 of these ideas to understand how truly inspiring and powerful some dreams can be.
1. The Theory of Relativity
Einstein presented the Theory of Relativity following a dream he had in which he was telling a farmer about a cow surrounded by an electric fence, but the farmer saw something else. Einstein came up with the theory that the same thing could appear different to different people based on their perspectives.
2. Theory of Evolution
The next world-changing idea that came from a dream on our list is the Theory of Evolution. Although Charles Darwin is known for the theory, Alfred Russel spent 8 years studying evolution and later had a dream that gave him the concept of animals evolving by adapting to the environments they live in.
3. The Periodic Table
The periodic table was made by a Russian chemist, Dmitri Mendeleev. He kept trying to classify 56 elements for 3 days, but he just couldn’t do it. When he slept exhausted, he had a dream in which all elements were arranged in a table. Dmitri drew the table on paper as soon as he woke up, and this was the Periodic Table. Only 1 correction had to be made later.
4. Sewing Machine
The first sewing machine was also a result of Elias Howe’s dream. He already had everything sorted for the machine’s design except the needle. He had a dream where he was about to get killed with a spear that had a hole at the tip. This is where he got the idea of the needle, and the first sewing machine was invented.
5. The Model of an Atom
Niels Bohr came up with the model of the atom following a dream in which he saw planets circling around the sun, attached by a string. This gave him the idea of electrons moving around the neutron.
6. The Structure of the Molecule
Friedrich August Kekulé came up with the structure of the molecule in a dream, as the chemist told the world himself. He saw a self-devouring snake in his dream that made him design the ring-shaped benzene molecule and illustrate how atoms can be arranged with chemical bonds.
7. Analytical Geometry
Rene Descartes, the person who created the field of Analytical Geometry, was actually a German soldier. He had a series of 3 dreams that made him question reality’s nature. He quit the army, dived deep into finding answers, studied mathematics and philosophy, and introduced Analytical Geometry and Modern rationalism.
Everybody knows what Frankenstein is – one of the finest classic novels of all time. The author, Mary Shelly, has admitted that it was a dream that inspired the idea of Frankenstein that she translated into a story.
9. Yesterday by The Beatles
The song Yesterday by The Beatles came from a dream. Paul McCartney heard the tune of the song in a dream that he played on his piano after he woke up and later made a song on it.
10. Satisfaction by Rolling Stones
Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards heard the first few verses of the song Satisfaction in his dream. He went to bed as usual with his guitar and woke up to a tape recording with 40 minutes of him snoring, but a small segment of the song’s first few verses that the guitarist recorded in his sleep! As hard as it is to believe this, it’s very true.
11. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one of the masterpieces by Robert Louis Stevenson. The story came to him in a drug-induced nightmare. Robert’s wife burned the first draft of the book because she found it useless, but Robert was able to rewrite the 30,000-words book in just 3 days which became a massive hit!
12. Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s romantic classic came to him in his dream after he drifted into sleep after taking opium for pain.
Who doesn’t know the classic romance novel by Stephenie Meyer? The story of Twilight came to the author in a dream. The dream featured 2 people in sunlight, one a sparkling vampire and the other a girl. The sparkling boy told the girl how much he cared about her, yet how much he wanted to kill her. Well, that’s Twilight for you!
The next time you have a dream, sit on it to find out if there’s meaning to it. You never know; you may come up with a world-changing idea too!