Croatia may be a small country, but it is filled with innovation and beauty. It is home to a whopping ten World Heritage UNESCO sites, from Diocletian’s Palace to the City Walls of Dubrovnik. Croatia is known for its picturesque lakes, rich history, and appearance in Game of Thrones.

Top 5 Croatia Inventions

However, many don’t know that Croatia is also a place of invention and innovation. Here are five inventions you didn’t know were from Croatia.

Electric light bulb

Nikole Tesla has hundreds of patents for all sorts of things. However, he is best known for the electric light bulb. Nikole Tesla was an ethnic Serb, but he was born in Smiljan in modern Croatia. He also invented the first alternating current (AC) motor and later developed AC generation and transmission technology.

Forensic fingerprint

Millions of tourists’ flock to Croatia every year for its beauty, history and safety. The small country is big on safety and reducing crime. It all started with a man from Hvar who discovered fingerprinting could help solve crimes. Ivan Vuctetic was a police officer in Argentina at the end of the 19th century. He invented the first fingerprint identification system to help with murder investigations. He is a prominent historical figure in dactyloscopy today.

The pen

The first solid-ink fountain pen was invented in 1907 by Eduard Penkala. He partnered with businessman Edmund Moster to launch the Penkala-Moster Company. They created one of the biggest pen and pencil factories in the world, and their company still exists today.

Penkala also invented the first mechanical pencil in 1906. He eventually moved on from pens and pencils and built the first Croatian aircraft in 1910. It was the first flight to take off from Zagreb’s first airport.

The parachute

Faust Vrancic invented the first functional parachute along with the wind turbine and suspension bridge. You can explore his work and history at the Faust Vrancic Memorial Centre on the island of Prvic.

The torpedo

Croatian inventions also extend into military operations. Giovanni Lupis designed the plans for a self-propelled boat filled with explosives that could be used to destroy enemy ships and controlled from land. While Lupis came up with the idea, he later asked British engineer Robert Whitehead to develop the concept. Whitehead invented an explosive device that could travel below the surface. It is now known as the Whitehead torpedo.

Croatia also played a big role in World War Two and invented the water cannon. Today, water cannon technology is used in mining and fire fighting.

So, if you’re a fan of all things techy and looking to scratch your travel itch, book an escorted tour of Croatia to learn more about its surprising culture and background!