Serendipitist: n. A person who benefits from a chance or serendipitous event
Serendipity: happenchance or providence.
This beautiful term was originally coined by writer Horace Walpole in 1754. Walpole was inspired by the ancient Persian tale The Three Princes of Serendip, about some titular characters who ran around in ancient Persia having some marvellous luck and serendipitous occurrences in their lives.
Serendip or Serendib: origin: Arabic. The archaic name for the island of Sri Lanka a.k.a. Ceylon
The name Serendib is a corruption of the Sanskrit name Siṃhaladvīpa which translates to Dwelling Place of the Lions. The Arabic name of Serendib dates to is thought to have been borrowed from the local Indians with whom they traded with on the island of (what is now known as) Sri Lanka.
“As their Highnesses travelled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of.”
~ Peregrinaggio di tre giovani figliuoli del re di Serendippo published by Michele Tramezzino in Venice in 1557 and later translated to English.
Felix Culpa: Happy or Blessed Fault Origin: Latin.
The serendipitous discovery of LSD
In 1943, Albert Hofmann studied Lysergic acid, a powerful chemical that was first isolated from a fungus that grows on rye. He was planning on using this compound in pharmaceuticals and he accidentally tasted some.
He went home and lay down because he was feeling ill and..
“..sank into a kind of drunkenness which was not unpleasant and which was characterised by extreme activity of the imagination,” according to his own notes. As I lay in a dazed condition with my eyes closed (I experienced daylight as disagreeably bright) there surged upon me an uninterrupted stream of fantastic images of extraordinary plasticity and vividness and accompanied by an intense, kaleidoscope-like play of colours.”
Intrigued, Hoffman later intentionally dosed himself with LSD and went cycling.