20 Inventions We Can't Believe People Actually Figured Out

Sometimes we take our technological advancements for granted. The wifi isn't loading your YouTube video, or your cellphone can't seem to get service? Curse that! But how about you take a step back and marvel that any person you want to speak to, any fact you want to look up, or any image you want to capture is only a few touches away on a device you can carry in your pocket? That's pretty darn incredible. 

The comedian Nate Bargatze has a standup segment in which he proclaims, "If I could go back in time, knowing everything I know now, I don't think I could make a difference." Aside from being funny, it's a profound observation. The inner workings of our modern tech are as mysterious to us as it would be to someone in the 1920s, and it makes you appreciate just how smart a few people had to be to figure it all out. How did someone think, "I'd love a real image of this landscape instead of a painting," or, "I'd love to know how far away that star is," and actually figure it out?

This gallery highlights humanity's greatest solved mysteries and praises the people who solved them. Here are 20 things we can't believe people actually figured out. 

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