Quantum mechanics predicts a number of, at first sight, counterintuitive phenomena. It therefore remains a question whether our intuition is the best way to find new experiments. Here, we report the development of the computer algorithm Melvin which is able to find new experimental implementations for the creation and manipulation of complex quantum states. Indeed, the discovered experiments extensively use unfamiliar and asymmetric techniques which are challenging to understand intuitively. The results range from the first implementation of a high-dimensional Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger state, to a vast variety of experiments for asymmetrically entangled quantum states—a feature that can only exist when both the number of involved parties and dimensions is larger than 2. Additionally, new types of high-dimensional transformations are found that perform cyclic operations. Melvin autonomously learns from solutions for simpler systems, which significantly speeds up the discovery rate of more complex experiments. The ability to automate the design of a quantum experiment can be applied to many quantum systems and allows the physical realization of quantum states previously thought of only on paper.