Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday Weird

Today we're going to talk about something that I just think is super awesome and cool (and weird of course)

The Antikythera Mechanism
 
The Antikythera Mechanism is an ancient machine that dates back to about 100 BC. It was found in a shipwreck near Greece and it contains gears and other bits that weren't found in devices again until 1000 years later.
 
 
 
No one can really agree on who made it, though it's likely to be Greek since its instructions are written in Greek, but there's also pretty strong support for it being Sicilian.
 
The machine supposedly is used to figure out astronomical positions, which is no big deal until you realize this was created before anyone had discovered how planets and junk moved.
 
So, more or less, the machine had a function that no one alive during that time would've understood.
 
I mean, look at this crazy thing!
 
So many parts. And these damn instructions are like Greek. Literally.

this is a modern model of the machine
 
I love cool crap like that, things that throw a wrench into our understanding of history and the world. Good times.
 
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18 comments:

Kyra Lennon said...

You know so much cool stuff! Thanks for sharing!

Matthew MacNish said...

So Atlantis was in the Mediterranean, not the Atlantic?

Leah (aka Mary_not_Martha) said...

Two words: Time Machine

Kimberlee Turley said...

This might be the completely wrong era, but is it possible the Library of Alexandria might have had more recorded technology, but because it burned they were set back many years in technological advacments?

KatieO said...

very cool.

Anne said...

first- it's clearly Dwemer, not Greek
Second- the modern model is awesome
Third- Matt's probably right

Slamdunk said...

Ha, maybe it was the first television remote control? They have certainly come along way with those things.

mshatch said...

I'm with Leah on this one; I immediately thought time travel as the likeliest explanation - however unlikely that may be.

TL Conway said...

Clearly, the Greeks were working on the first TARDIS prototype...

(*is happy to toss out a Dr. Who reference even though I've NEVER seen it...*)

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

It kinda looks like something I might find on Dr. Who's Tardis.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Aliens perhaps?

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

Very cool. Great photos.

Play off the Page

Joshua said...

But what does it do?!?!

vic caswell (aspiring-x) said...

hmmm... i wonder about the dating...
sometimes extreme conditions can really alter carbon dating...

but i think that the ancients knew sooooo much more than we like to give them credit for. and there are da vinci's who never get their damn credit.

Jamie Gibbs said...

According to the British Archaeological Super-Squad, it's actually a time keeping device that tells you when it's Beer O Clock. Very clever, the Greeks.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, very cool! I think there probably WERE societies that understood the planets and stars but the information got burned or destroyed or 'debunked' with the Crusades (when it became lethal to believe science)

Nate Wilson said...

I think Vic's got it right: this is the product of a pre-Jesus Greek da Vinci who not only conceived futuristic devices, but also had the means to construct them.

No, I'm kidding. Clearly, it was time-traveling aliens.

Sarah Pearson said...

'It's likely to be Greek since its instructions are written in Greek'

Didn't come from Amazon then ...

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