10 of History's Happiest Accidents

The Rolling Stones
Mick Jagger (extreme left) and Keith Richards (second from left) are show in a 1963 photo of the Rolling Stones; the group was formed after Mick and Keith met by chance in a railway station. Terry O'Neill/Hulton Archive/Getty Image

Life-saving medical breakthrough and frozen desserts aren't the only accidental discoveries that have made the world a happier place. How about the Rolling Stones? Rock historians claim that the world would never have enjoyed chart-topping hits like "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," "Brown Sugar" or "Honky Tonk Woman" if Mick Jagger and Keith Richards hadn't showed up for the same train at Dartford Station in Kent on the morning of Oct. 17, 1961 [source: BBC].

On his way to art college, Richards, electric guitar case over his shoulder, struck up a conversation on platform two with Jagger (on his way to the London School of Economics) about the blues records Jagger was carrying. Richards recognized him as they'd attended the same primary school, and they talked about music all through the one-hour commute into London. The connection was so strong that Jagger invited Richards to join his band, Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys [source: BBC].

Jagger and Richards went on to form the Rolling Stones — originally the Rollin' Stones — with Brian Jones and Ian Stewart in 1962, less than a year after that fateful meeting. Their instant friendship became one of the most fruitful songwriting partnerships in rock history.

Today, Rolling Stones fans still make pilgrimages to Dartford Station's platform two and in 2013, council leaders announced that a plaque would be installed there to commemorate the meeting [source: BBC].