7 incredible Belgian inventions

What pops into your mind when you think of Belgium? I’m sure you’re thinking about chocolate. Yes, chocolate is amazing, but there are many more life changing inventions that were originally invented in Belgium.

Belgium’s geographical location in Western Europe means that the country had extensive resources for people to experiment and hopefully invent revolutionary things. The inventions were meant to put the country on the world map and help propel human development forward. Below are 7 incredible Belgian inventions.

Neoprene

This is a synthetic rubber material which is most commonly used to make wetsuits. It is the perfect material to make wetsuits with because of its chemical stability as well as its incredible component of being able to maintain flexibility over a temperature range.

These components allow for divers to be able to maintain normal body temperature despite being in an environment that comprises the normal bodily state. Therefore the diver can enjoy the scenery of deep undersea with putting themselves in bodily harm.

Body mass index (BMI)

With increased numbers of obese people in the world, it is vital to acknowledge the positive impacts of the body mass index. The body mass index is used in the health field as well as for personal body reflection purposes.

The BMI formula is used for estimating a person’s body fat level. BMI takes into account height and weight, which then determines if one is underweight, overweight or normal. BMI acts a reliable indicator of one’s overall physical health and allows people to regulate their diet and exercise according to the results of the test.

French Fries

Despite the name ‘French fries’, fries did not originate in France. The origins of this high fat, high carbohydrate filled snack are traced back to Belgium. The story behind the origins of French fries is that the poor villagers in Belgium used to fry small fish they caught in the river. They then did the same with potatoes. They sliced them up and then fried them. This is how far back historians trace the origins of French fries.

Cricket

The so-called sophisticated sport is clearly characterised by men dressed in white on a perfectly mowed green field, it is quite an aesthetically pleasing sport. The dominant theory about the origins of cricket is that is originated in Britain, but the truth is it was invented in Belgium. The theory of cricket origins being in Belgium is supported by a poem by John Skelton, which is believed to have been written in 1533.

Contraceptive pill

The most commonly used form of contraception is the pill. Today there are many different types of contraceptive pills, which are prescribed to individuals based on their body and age. The contraceptive pill is so highly used and advised by doctors because it is easy to take, reliable and is an easily accessible form of contraception that is available to all women today.

The first widely used contraceptive pill was invented in Belgium by Dr. Ferdinand Peeters, who advocated for women’s right to control their own fertility. This invention has allows women all over the world to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies.

Plastic 

Today plastic is regarded as a major environmental hazard as it pollutes the oceans and contributes to global warming, which in turn has health implications for humans. Plastic was first invented by Leo Henricus Baekeland and was introduced to the public in 1909. The invention of plastic was a revolutionary one as it has resulted in many different types of products being made from it, this is because of how versatile it is.

A great example is the Tupperware container. They provide secure keeping of food as well as part time jobs for people that distribute them. Belgium is quite a small country for the amount of inventions that have originated there. The above inventions have changed the way in which society functions and the resources that we have at our disposal