In the 1660s, German alchemist Hennig Brand intended to turn urine into gold. But 1,500 gallons of dehydrated pee led him instead to discover phosphorus.

From Wikipedia’s history of alchemy: “In the eyes of a variety of esoteric and Hermetic practitioners, alchemy is fundamentally spiritual. Transmutation of lead into gold is presented as an analogy for personal transmutation, purification, and perfection.”

Credit: Great Big Story