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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Compass

The Ancient Greeks discovered how to make simple compasses using magnetic iron ore.

In China, an equivalent device to the compass was first produced in the third century BC, but not for navigation. It was used by fortune tellers to divine unseen forces, and  wasn’t employed for navigation until the ninth century.

Before compasses, Vikings navigated the ocean using birds, whales, celestial bodies, chants and rhymes.

Sailors in China and Europe independently discovered in the 12th century lodestone, a magnetic mineral that aligned with the North Pole. By 1190, Italian navigators were using lodestone to magnetise needles floating in bowls of water.

Any magnetic needle allowed to turn freely will always come to rest pointing in a North-South direction.


Honeybees navigate by using the sun as a compass.

Source The Independent 

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