Many of us regard our dreams as something of a novelty, we may have a particularly scary nightmare or an unusually pleasant dream once in a while but dreams rarely play a significant part in our day to day lives.
However, for these five people, their dreams went on to change not only their lives but also the lives of millions of people around the world.
5Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein
Regarded as a seminal piece of horror literature and often cited as the original sci-fi novel, Mary Shelly’s iconic novel Frankenstein, about a scientist who plays God and creates a hideous monster, is one of the most well-known stories in the world, and it owes its origin entirely to a nightmare Shelly experienced.
After being challenged to create a ghost story by another renowned author, Lord Byron, Shelly spent days and days trying to come up with a new idea for a story. Then, one night, Shelly experienced a very vivid nightmare in which she saw a man performing experiments upon a hideous, humanoid creature on an operating table, that then suddenly sprang to life. This became the basis for her now legendary story.
4Niels Bohr: Atomic Structure
Danish physicist Niels Bohr is the man responsible for making one of the biggest breakthroughs of the 20th century, how an atom itself is structured, and he owes his discovery to a dream he had.
After spending many days trying, and failing, to understand how these complicated particles were structured he had a dream in which he saw the nucleus of an atom with electrons spinning around it, like planets orbiting the sun.
Bohr awoke and immediately set about researching his dream vision, which turned out to be correct and led to him winning a Nobel prize in 1922.
3Flavius Marcianus: The Death Of Attila The Hun
The Roman Empire was one of the vastest empires ever to have existed, spreading over three continents and surviving for 1101 years, however, from 450-457 ad the Roman empire found itself at war with the Huns, a nomadic tribe who lived in Eastern Europe and who disputed Roman rule of their lands.
Driven by the fearsome Attila the Hun, the Huns decimated the Roman Empire in specific areas, and the then Roman Emperor Flavius Marcianus was struggling to find an answer to the threat, which looked like it could quickly erupt into an all-out war.
But, things would take a very strange turn when Flavius awoke from a dream one night, claiming that he had seen Attila die before his very eyes, his “bow broken before him”. Amazingly that very same night, Attila passed away.
Historians believe he died of an internal haemorrhage brought on by an old war wound; some even think the great warrior could have succumbed to alcohol poisoning.
2Frederick Banting: Diabetes Breakthrough
After losing his mother to diabetes, Canadian physician Dr Frederick Banting set about trying to discover a cure, even though he lacked knowledge of the disorder he partnered with many specialists and conducted experiments, determined to put an end to the disease.
Banting claims he had a dream one night in which he saw himself operating on a dog suffering from diabetes. In the dream, Banting saw himself tying up the pancreas of the dog in order to stop the proper flow of nourishment.
When Banting put this to the test, he discovered that there was a huge imbalance between sugar and insulin produced in the body. This gave rise to the insulin injection, which controls blood sugar levels in patients diagnosed with diabetes.
This discovery meant that people who have diabetes now have their lifespans significantly extended, and Banting's dream has gone on to help a countless numbers of people.
1Paul McCartney: Yesterday
When it comes to music, many would agree that tge Beatles are up their. The four piece English, rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960 who went on to conquer the world, having more number one songs and albums than any other British band in history and becoming musical and cultural icons.
So perhaps it’s not that surprising then that Paul McCartney came up with one of the groups biggest smash hits quite literally in his sleep.
According to McCartney, he composed the entire melody of the song in a dream one night, when he awoke early in the morning he dashed to a piano to play the song so he wouldn’t forget it.
For months McCartney was convinced that the song was not his own creation, that he had simply remembered a song he had heard before or had altered an already existing song in his sleep. However, after asking around it soon became apparent that Paul had, in fact, created the melody himself, and he set about putting lyrics to it.
This dream melody would go on to become “yesterday”, one of the Beatles most iconic songs, with more than 2,000 cover versions being performed by artists from all over the world.