6 amazing ancient inventions, the secret of which has been lost for thousands of years
The universe is full of mysteries that defy science. In this article we will discuss about the various phenomena that often go beyond the understanding of modern science.
Unfortunately, the secrets of many useful inventions made thousands of years ago and are widely used in the early periods of human development, is now lost and is still confusing engineers and inventors state of technology. Modern analogues of some of these inventions have appeared recently.
1. Greek fire: a mysterious chemical weapons
The image of the illuminated (decorated with colorful ornaments and miniatures) of the Madrid manuscripts John Skylitzes, which depicts the Greek fire used against the Navy Thomas the Slav (the leader of one of the largest folk-feudal uprisings in Byzantium). The inscription above the left ship says: "The Romans set fire to the enemy fleet"
In VII-XIIvekah Byzantines used a mysterious substance in sea battles to ignite their enemies. This liquid splashes on the enemy via pipes or siphons burned even in water. Fire could repay only vinegar, sand or urine. It's a chemical weapon was known as Greek fire. We still do not know what it was for the substance. The Byzantines kept the recipe a closely guarded secret, it was known only to a few initiates, and eventually he was lost.
2. Flexible glass is too expensive substance
The three extant ancient sources contain references to the flexible glass. However, they are not detailed enough to say unequivocally that the substance did actually exist. The history of its invention was first told by Petronius (d. 63 AD. E.). He wrote about the glassblower, who presented the Emperor Tiberius (who ruled from 14-37 BC. E.) Glass vial. Glassblower Emperor asked him to return the vessel and when I got it, threw it on the floor. The vessel is not broken, but only deformed and glassblower quickly regained his original form. Fearing the loss of value of precious metals, Tiberius ordered to behead the inventor to his secret died with him.
A marble statue of the Emperor Tiberius, 37 AD. e.
One version of this story is contained in the writings of Pliny the Elder (died in 79 BC...), And the other was told by a couple of hundred years later, Dion Cassius: the main character in her favor not glassblower, and a magician. When the vessel was thrown to the ground, it crashed, and the master returned it to its original state with their bare hands.
In 2012, the Corning Glass Company introduced a flexible "willow glass" - heat-resistant and flexible material so that it can be rolled up. This invention is widely used for the production of solar cells.
If the unfortunate Roman glass blower really invented the flexible glass, he was thousands of years ahead of his time.
3. The antidote for all poisons
The development of so-called "universal antidote" was attributed to the king of Pontus Mithridates VI (reigned 120-63 BC. E.). And his improvement - personal physician of Emperor Nero. The original formula of poison has been lost, but keep the information about the ingredients. Among them were opium, cut a viper, and the combination of low doses of poisons and their antidotes. This tells Adrian Meyor, folklorist and historian of science at Stanford University in his work in 2008 under the name of "Greek fire, poison arrows and bombs skorpionovye: chemical and biological weapons in the ancient world."
King Mithridates VI of Pontus
This substance was known as mitridatium, in honor of King Mithridates VI.
Meyor also says Sergei Popov, a former Soviet biological weapons leading developer, who defected to the US in 1992, tried to make a modern mitridatium.
4. Thermal beam weapon
Archimedes set fire to Roman ships near Syracuse using parabolic mirrors
Greek mathematician Archimedes (d. 212 BC. E.) Has developed laser weapons, which tried to recreate in 2004 the authors of the program "MythBusters" the Discovery Channel. Adrian Meyor described the weapon as "a series of polished bronze shields that reflect the sun's rays on the enemy ships."
"MythBusters" have not been able to reproduce this ancient weapon, and they recognized it is a myth, but the MIT students in 2005 were able to burn a boat in San Francisco harbor with this weapon invented 2,200 years ago.
Meyor also described a modern thermal microwave beam weapon, acting on a "victim's skin, heating it to 55 ° C, creating a feeling that she was in the fire", which was presented in 2001, the Defense Advanced Research Agency DARPA.
5. The Roman concrete
Concrete nearly 2,000 years in Rome
Numerous Roman buildings, stood for thousands of years, are direct evidence of a higher quality of Roman concrete in comparison with the modern, the building of which begin to deteriorate and break down after only 50 years after construction.
The secret to the longevity of this ancient concrete has been opened recently. The secret ingredient turned out to volcanic ash. In an article published in 2013, the news center of the University of California at Berkeley, says that researchers first described the mechanism by which ultra-stable compound is a calcium-aluminum-silicate-hydrate binder. In the course of its production emits less carbon dioxide than in the production of any modern concrete. Its disadvantages include a longer drying time and lower strength than that of modern concrete, despite the greater durability.
6. Damascus steel
from Damascus steel sword
In the Middle Ages in the Middle East from Damascus steel swords were forged. The starting material was damask, fusion of Asian origin. Damascus steel - very durable metal. Prior to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, he remained the most durable metal known to man.
Middle East Damascus steel manufacturing secret was restored only in modern laboratories using scanning electron microscopy. The man has mastered this technology, about 300 BC. e. and lost it in the middle of the XVIII century.