The Italian anatomist and physiologist, one of the founders of electrophysiology and electricity, is believed to have made his main discovery accidentally. It was a blessing in disguise that Galvani’s wife was severely ill. The physicians prescribed a frog soup. Legend has it that Galvani split a freshly-caught frog and casually touched a naked nerve with a knife. An electrical machine standing nearby produced sparks for some reason... In De viribus electricitatis in motu musculari commentarius (Commentary on the Effect of Electricity on Muscular Motion), Galvani described how the frog’s leg twitched when touched upon with a scalpel.
All told, frogs did not help his ill wife but helped Galvani alright – they brought him great fame among those scholars who dreamed of immortality.
At first, the renowned scholars took Galvani’s discovery lightly and some of his biographers even maintain that Galvani’s colleagues at the University of Bologna put a cap with bells on his head and branded him “the frog dancing master.”
But he laughs best who laughs last. Alessandro Volta continued and correctly explained Galvani’s works, while the name of Luigi Galvani forever remained in history of science and the name of a new current source – galvanic element. And the galvanometer, an instrument for measuring low currents.