Extraordinary Mythical Inventions Forgotten By Mankind
There are many extraordinary mythical inventions that have been forgotten by modern mankind. They are historical testimonies of the genius people that lived in ancient times.
Many legends, stories, and manuscripts contain information about some of the remarkable technical achievements available to humans in various distant historical eras.
Some of these exceptional mythical inventions have managed to survive the course of history and continue to serve modern society to this day, while others, sadly, have been lost forever.
We have decided to select and present six of the most extraordinary engineering examples mentioned in ancient writings that have been forgotten by mankind.
1. Ancient Solar-Powered Weapons
The Greek mathematician Archimedes (287-212 BC) created a weapon that used polished bronze shields to reflect and focus the sun's rays to a specific point.
In 2004, the Myth-busters attempted to design a similar weapon for one of their shows, but failed and concluded that it didn't exist in reality.
Later, in 2005, a similar attempt was made by students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, only this time the attempt was successful: using a catapult system, the youngsters burned a boat in San Francisco harbor.
2. The Incredible Damascus Steel
In the Middle Ages, people in the Middle East made knife blades and swords from Damascus steel. As well as being very hard and resistant to breakage, they could easily be rebuilt if destroyed. Before the industrial revolution, Damascus steel was said to be the strongest metal known to mankind, but today its existence is often disputed.
Alternative science advocate and researcher Chris Hurst claims that a kind of nanotechnology was used to make such knife blades and swords - that is, the materials in the steel-making process interacted on a quantum level, and a structure of carbon nanotubes formed inside, giving it exceptional strength.
The original method of manufacturing this type of steel has been lost. Although modern alloys are far superior to those used in the production of ancient swords, researchers believe that only microscopic chemical reactions in the production process could have given the blades such extraordinary properties.
Some experts hope to discover similar nanotubes in other relics of the past, as they could enable scientists to find the answers to many of the questions they are concerned about.
3. Greek Gire (Byzantine Fire) - An Unbeatable Weapon
The Greek fire is a chemical weapon used by the Byzantines in the 7th-12th centuries during great battles. It is a flammable liquid that was projected through copper pipes (siphons) and could burn even in water. According to the chronicles, the liquid could only be extinguished with vinegar, urine, or sand.
The fire was launched through a system of pipes that started from the bow of the Byzantine ship and projected onto the enemy vessel. Once the vessel (usually an amphora) was open, the substance inside came into contact with the air, was primed, and then poured from the mast platform. Reaching the enemy ship through the pipes, it instantly set it on fire. Greek fire had truly devastating effects, being able to burn even underwater.
The exact composition of Greek fire remains a secret to this day. Although there is much speculation about some of the materials the Greeks may have used in ancient times, for example, rosin, no one can pinpoint the exact ingredients and proportions used by the people of those times to prepare the Byzantine fire.
4. An Mythical Antidote To All Poisons
The so-called "universal antidote", designed to work against all poisons, is said to have been created by King Mithridates VI and later perfected by Emperor Nero's personal physician.
In his youth, after his father's murder, Mithridates lived in the desert for seven years, enduring severe hardships. During that time, he developed immunity to poisons by regularly ingesting sub-lethal doses. Several versions of magic medicine are described in the literature, but the original recipe for the substance has not been preserved.
Aulus Cornelius Celsus mentioned the antidote in his work "De Medicina" and called it "Antidotum Mithridaticum".
Researcher Adrienne Mayor, a Stanford University folklorist and historian, says the ingredients of the universal antidote include opium, pieces of a viper's body combined with small doses of poisons and antidotes to them.
Later, Soviet chemist Sergei Popov attempted to reproduce a modernized version of this compound.
5. The Amazing Flexible Glass
Ancient manuscripts contain only three specifications from which we can learn about a substance called flexible glass or "vitrum flexile", although some scientists still vehemently deny the existence of such a phenomenon.
Gaius Petronius Arbiter (27-66 BC) was the first to mention flexible glass in historical writings. According to his records, a glassmaker presented Emperor Tiberius (14-37 BC) with a material with amazing properties. It was a phiale (i.e. a Roman drinking vessel) made of glass, which was allegedly thrown on the floor in front of Tiberius, but which did not break, only deformed. The craftsman used only a hammer to restore the vessel to its original shape.
Making sure that no one else knew the secret of the glass's miraculous properties, Emperor Tiberius ordered the glassmaker to be beheaded. Pliny the Elder (23-79 BC) completes the account with the fact that the glass workshop was also destroyed because Tiberius feared that precious metals would depreciate massively once the Romans learned of the existence of flexible glass.
A few centuries later, Dio Cassius, relates a similar story, describing the mysterious glassmaker as a kind of magician. According to him, the glass container broke, and the "master", using only his hands, restored it to its original integrity.
It should be noted that flexible glass was "reinvented" in 2012 by the Corning company and can be used to build solar panels and future generations of electronics and gadgets.
If flexible glass really existed during the Roman Empire, it seems that this invention preceded the historical course of mankind by thousands of years.
6. The Ancient Roman Concrete
The concrete used by the ancient Romans in construction is much stronger and more durable than today's concrete: architectural constructions from the Roman Empire have been preserved for thousands of years, while modern constructions show signs of erosion even after 50 years of use.
In recent years, researchers have been working hard to find out what the secret ingredient of Roman concrete was, and have found that it was volcanic ash.
This is the end of our short list of extraordinary mythical inventions of antiquity, but we could go on and on with more examples, as many such outstanding technical achievements from those times continue to attract the attention of researchers today.