The 19-year-old Australian condemned the Spaniard to a 7-6 (7/5) 5-7 7-6 (7/5) 6-3 defeat, completing three miserable years at Wimbledon for the five-time finalist.
The Canberra native got the better of the 14-time grand slam champion and current world number one, to book a last-eight clash with Canada’s Milos Raonic.
Kyrgios admitted he gained motivation after hearing his mother Norlaila give an interview back in Australia admitting Nadal was the pre-match favourite.
“I saw an interview with her saying he was too good, so that made me a bit angry and that helped!” he joked.
“I think I was in a bit of a zone out there, I didn’t really notice the crowd that much. I played extraordinary tennis.
“I got that break in the fourth set, served really well throughout the match, and I’m really happy.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet.
“You’ve got to believe that you can win from the outset, and I always do that. He hit some unbelievable shots.”
Admitting he was at a loss how to celebrate, he said: “I didn’t know what to do: I’ve just turned to everyone that’s supported me my whole life.
“I didn’t really know what that dance was.”
Kyrgios produced the shot of the tournament so far with a casual flick between his legs midway through the second set.
The nonchalant winner yielded an immediate social-media response but even at that stage, with Kyrgios boasting a one-set lead, few would have predicted what was to follow.
pattern of dropping the first set only to storm back and claim the following three suggested the world’s top-ranked star would eventually wrestle control. The clay-court king hustled his way to the second set in a daunting momentum shift, after Kyrgios had won the opening exchange via tie-break.
Unflappable teenager Kyrgios hit back immediately though, stealing a second tie-break for a 2-1 lead.
When he pinched his first service break of the match in the fourth set however, he had Nadal cornered — and then held his nerve to serve out for an emphatic victory.
Elsewhere, Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka zipped into an all-Swiss quarter-final.
Federer dispatched Spain’s Tommy Robredo in straight sets yesterday, with compatriot Wawrinka accounting for Feliciano Lopez in similar fashionafter.
Federer booked his 12th quarter- final spot with a commanding 6-1 6-4 6-4 victory, avenging his 2013 US Open defeat to the world number 22.
“All the things that need to be happening to go deep in this tournament are happening,” he said after. “The important thing is what’s happening on the court, not what the press or anyone else is saying.
“It’s only the quarter-finals though, and that’s where the tournament really starts ultimately.”
Australian Open champion Wawrinka powered past 19th seed Lopez 7-6 (7/5) 7-6 (9/7) 6-3, admitting winning the first tie-break was crucial to his victory.
“It’s going to be fun playing Roger, I hope, on grass at Wimbledon, it’s going to be something special,” said Wawrinka.
“I’m happy with how I’m playing so far. It’s going to be tough after two matches in two days, but I’ll do everything I can to be ready.
“It was a tense match, playing against him (Lopez) on grass is tough. Winning the first tie-break was important as there was a lot of tension out there. There was a bit of tension out there between us, but that’s just because you both want to win so much.
“I was trying to be really aggressive, serve strong and come to the net.”
Meanwhile, Maria Sharapova was out-gunned by Angelique Kerber in a gripping Centre Court shoot-out as Wimbledon glory again eluded the former champion. Sharapova went down to a 7-6 (7/4) 4-6 6-4 defeat to left-hand German Kerber, who faces a quarter-final shot at Canadian Eugenie Bouchard today.
Elsewhere, a clearly unwell Serena Williams and sister Venus pulled out of the women’s doubles as their tournament ended on a worrying note. In scenes uncomfortable to watch on Court One, Serena was plainly not herself and her vision looked to be the root of the trouble and the WTA later announced the reason for Serena’s withdrawal was a “viral illness”.