The term ‘computer bug’ was coined after a moth flew into into a computer’s circuitry.

The moth was discovered on the circuit board of the U.S. Navy’s Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator while it was being tested at Harvard University in September 1947. After removing the pesky insect, the machine’s operators put out the word that they had “debugged” the computer, which grew into the technical term for identifying and removing errors in computer hardware and software! 

They then stuck the moth that they caught onto the computer’s log with a piece of tape. They wrote underneath it “First actual case of bug being found”. Decades later that log was sent to the Naval Surface Warfare Center Computer Museum in Dahlgren, Virginia. 

If you’re not planning on visiting the Dahlgren area anytime soon, you can still get a good look at the first ever “computer bug” by clicking this link. While you’re there you can also learn about Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper who, in addition to coining the term “computer bug”, was also one of the first pioneers of electronic computers.

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Cool Facts 2 Share
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