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Famous ideas inspired by dreams

By Sophia Zhu

We’re not quite sure what exact purpose dreams serve, but virtually everyone has experienced them, whether their dreams are nonsensical and random or perfectly reflective of real life. Regardless, they can be pretty powerful tools for generating new ideas and fostering creativity. Read on to learn about some of the coolest inventions, scientific breakthroughs, and artistic pieces that have come from dreams!



If you’re into science, you may know that DNA, the genetic material that makes you who you are, is shaped like a twisting ladder called a double helix. But something surprising is that the DNA’s structure was discovered because Dr. James Watson saw a spiral staircase in a dream one night, and realized that could be the key to how our genes are encoded!


People commonly think of Frankenstein as the monster in a horror story, but it’s actually the last name of the scientist who created the monster. Mary Shelley, the author of this early science fiction novel, was spurred to write the book after having a nightmare about something very similar - a mad scientist who dreamed of reanimating the dead.

The Beatles’ song “Yesterday”

According to Paul McCartney, singer and bassist for the Beatles, the song “Yesterday” came to him in a dream. He heard the full melody, almost exactly as it was produced in real life, so completely that he was positive the song already existed when he woke up the next day. When everyone told him the song stuck in his head was a new original, he wrote it down for the band to record it in the studio.


Odds are, you’ve spent a lot of time using this search engine that has become essential to our modern lives. Larry Page, one of the inventors of Google, came up with the idea because he dreamed that he could download the entire content of the Internet onto some old computers he had laying around the garage. This would prove impossible, because there was simply too much data, but he did realize that he could store data as individual links and use Google as the database for those links.




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