8 People You Didn't Know Saved Your Life

These are the heroes that Gotham deserves.

The world might seem like a dark and dangerous place at times, but it definitely used to be much darker and much more dangerous. Fortunately, history is littered with clever do-gooders who spent their lives doing their very best to improve others'. Many of their discoveries and inventions are things that we take completely for granted today, and the chances are that you've probably never heard of them, but their legacy lives on in the fact that you are still walking, talking and breathing. Unless you've spent your life living under a rock, there's a very good chance you owe a great big thank you to at least one of the people on this list. These are the heroes that Gotham deserves.

8. John L. Leal - Clean Water

You know what's fun? Not having dysentery. John Leal was a physician trained in bacteriology, had used chlorine in the past to disinfect homes where water borne diseases were present, and chlorine had been used to clean the water supply of Maidstone, England after a typhoid outbreak. Despite these early forays into the world of sanitation, most places still played the "will today be the day I die of diarrhea?" game with their water supplies. The idea of continuously chlorinating the drinking water supply in order to make it fit for human consumption was dreamt up by Leal in 1908, although the idea was put forwards some years earlier in an incredibly dull book regarding water supplies. Frankly, he deserves his place on this list for reading it. Whether or not you believe that the government are adding chemicals to your water to control your thoughts, the Leal's contribution to history has probably played a major role in you being all nice and alive today. It has been estimated that dirty drinking water kills more people than war, worldwide, so the fact that millions of people in developed countries can pipe clean fresh water into their homes is nothing short of a miracle.

Writer. Raconteur. Gardeners' World Enthusiast.