If you log onto Google.com today, you’ll see a weird cryptograph with an educational historic significance that celebrates the 115th anniversary of a famous discovery, the Antikythera Mechanism. Common assumption would surmise that the computer was invented during one of the world wars, yet the oldest discovered was actually analog, rather than digital, and was created over 2,000 years ago.
A computer computes, right? Some time before Christ, if you’d turn a knob/crank of some sort then a gadget would reproduce the same motions of the sun, moon, and planets. With precision, it could predict how the stars and sky would look for decades to come. The position of the sun, moon, eclipses, and lunar phases were precisely computed with the device, as well. An ancient roadmap and guide to the galaxy, about 2,100 years ago.
Could you imagine if electricity would have been discovered and used during that time? All without using an electrical calculator, but rather a simple mechanical device, which hacked the calculations of the galaxy? A sophisticated craftsmanship lay dormant underwater from a shipwreck for centuries (artifact was constructed between 150 and 100 BC), until it was found in 1902. Scientists and AMRP (Antikythera Mechanism Research Project) teamed up and used new technology, such as x-ray scanning and imaging, to look past the calcified surface.
The Antikyrhera Mechanism was a whirling clockwork that had at least 30 bronze gears with thousands of interlocking tiny teeth. The ancient Greeks mentality seemed to think more outside the box than inside it. Here we have a civilization that decided to utilize inventing a clockwork to map the future and stars rather than to mark minutes and hours.
Which reminds us, what time is it? Let’s look at that celestial iPhone, it might be time to plot out our place in the universe.
A thorough breakdown of the Antikythera Mechanism was published by The Washington Post, for those interested in learning more.
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