Vikings navigated with crystals

The Vikings relied on the high seas with high precision, long before the compass came to Europe? According to new research, the Scandinavians may have used the polarization of crystal, called sun stones, it is difficult to navigate in the northern latitudes traversed when traveling from Norway to Iceland, Greenland, and perhaps even in North America. These transparent crystals, which are commonly found in Iceland, can be used for the depolarization of light in determining the position of the sun even in cloudy weather. Such a crystal of calcite was recently discovered on the ship Alderney Elizabethan, sank off the coast of Britain in 1592. Researchers believe that it could be used as an alternative to the modern compass. An international team of researchers has shown that sun stones can easily be used for accurate navigation in different contexts, identifying its location by the sun. They checked the crystals by a simple experiment, when the crystal on the top and bottom are put in a certain way the two points. “You turn the crystal, while the two points will not have the same degree of illumination as the sun. The position of the crystal indicates the position of the sun, “- said the news agency AFP Guy of the University of Rennes Ropars in France.

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