Saturday, 9 March 2013

sampo

Reexamining the contents of old shipwrecks may be lending credence to ancient Nordic legends of a mystical stone, claimed to have the properties of revealing the angle of the Sun even under cloudy conditions, and thus direction for sea-navigation. A certain variety of crystals, called Icelandic spar, is common among the manifests of sunken ships and researchers have re-discovered that the crystals can be used to reveal the direction of weak and scattered rays of light, and thus bearing and course, if one applies the proper triangulation to correct for the polarization-effect. Such a tool (Zaubergerät) could have been instrumental in the Norwegian Vikings reaching North America, centuries before other European explorers and centuries before the invention of the magnetic compass, navigating stormy seas with seasons of short hours of daylight.