10 Legends from Human History That Are Actually True
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10 Legends from Human History That Are Actually True

Our ancient history is full of mysteries and legends. Today, we take things for granted and never really question why and how they came into being. Here are ten things you probably did not know about human history, 10 achievements and failures that defined our way of life and our understanding of the world.
Human history is full with mysteries and forgotten events and people and inventions. You would be surprised to know what some things we take as legends were actually real. Here are ten things you did not know about our history and the achievements (and failures) of our ancestors. 1. The great Biblical flood. Rain falling down from the sky, covering the entire world for days at an end; Sounds like a scary tale fit for your children’s bed time story? You would be surprised to know this event actually took place. Not on a planetary scale, but for the people at that time it might as well have. Several thousand years ago, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea were actually separated, and the Black Sea was just a huge inland lake, slightly below the water level in the Mediterranean. At some point, a break occurred in the Bosporus Strait, causing a catastrophic raise of the Black Sea’s water. For the people living there, the waters did cover the entire world (known to them). The story was passed on generation through generation and ended up in many mythological books of various civilizations, before finally being written in the Bible. 2. Steam engines. The idea of steam engines originated way back in human history. Some geek from Ancient Roman Alexandra, called Hero (yes Hero like hero) first came up with a working design for a steam engine called Aeolipile, which works similar to reaction steam turbines. The Aeolipile was the first working steam engine ever created around 2000 years before the industrial revolution. A couple of historians have concluded that the Aeolipile was actually capable of useful work. 3. Solar weapons During the siege of Syracuse 214–212 BC, the Greek inventor Archimedes came up with a way of destroying the enemy ships that were blocking the supply lines for his city. He used several mirrors to focus the sun light onto approaching ships, causing them to take fire. Sounds like science fiction? Don’t hold up on that to thought. In 1973, an experiment was made to prove the viability of such weapon against wooden crafts. 70 mirrors were used each with a copper coating and a size of around five by three feet, focusing sunlight against a hapless wooden boat of roman design. Turns out the boat caught up fire in a few seconds. Some chronicles account for several instances in which such weapon have been used through ancient time and early dark ages. 4. Gun powder First time users of gun powered were ancient Chinese. Those guys had quite a lot of uses for the black, explosive powder, from muskets and crude rifles, to grenades, rockets and bombs. Chinese initially used them to hold off the Mongolian raiders coming from the northern regions. Eventually, the Mongolians conquered China, and all the good gunpowder was then used to conquer nearby states. The first time gunpowder was used offensively was during the invasion of Japan. It is a little bit curious that despite the huge time advantage Chinese had over the rest of the world, they did not create anything more advanced than their crude devices, and by the time European explorers reached China, European cultures had more advanced gun powder weapons. 5. Flamethrowers What? You didn’t expect the ancient humans went this far? The award for inventing the flame throwers go to the Greek (those guys were pretty devious, weren’t they?). Pistons mounted on ships were used throughout the Byzantine era to inflict heavy damage in naval warfare. Greek fire played a huge role in the Empire’s survival against the relentless attacks of the Arabs. Unfortunately, the formula for Greek fire was probably the most important secret of the Byzantine Empire, and was lost soon after the fall of the empire. Throughout the middle ages, several other cultures developed flame throwers, but using different formulae. Crusaders were pretty impressed by the awesome Greek fire, and they ended up mixing it with Mongolian or Arab similar weapons. 6. Dams Ok, we had enough weapons now. Let’s take a look at something more peaceful: dams. The award goes to the Roman Empire. They’ve built hundreds of dams around the empire, most of them in Spain. Some of those are still is use today, over 2000 years later. Cool, isn’t it? Only they didn’t use it for electricity, just for supplying their cities with water. The biggest one is over 600km long; pretty amazing for an ancient construct. 7. Harvesting machines This one is a little unsure, but one thing is clear: it was invented during ancient times by either the Celts or the Romans. It was capable of cutting the ear and leaving the straw behind and was “powered” by oxen. Unfortunately, the device was forgotten in the dark ages. 8. Monotheism One would think the Christians did it first, but in fact, the Bible was not the first religious book to teach about worshipping a single God. Thousands of years before Christ, a pharaoh called Akhenaten attempted to instate monotheistic religion in Ancient Egypt. The only God of his religion was Aten. His cult was not that different from present day Christianity. Although it was mainly monotheistic, the cult did accept the existence of other beings worth worshipping (Saints). After the death of Akhenaten, his religion was gradually phased out, and the old traditions restored. The pharaoh himself was nearly forgotten by history, until discovered in the 19th century. 9. Pyramids Egyptians did not build the first pyramids, as many would believe. Various civilizations civilizations around ancient Mesopotamia, such as Sumerians, Babylonians, Elamites, or Akkadians constructed pyramids before the Egyptians. Those pyramids, however, were step pyramids, similar to early Egyptian pyramids, called Ziggurats. Since Ziggurats were built with sun dried mud bricks, little remained of them in present time. They were part of larger religious complexes and were usually pained in bright colours. It is assumed that some Ziggurats had shrines on top, and one could climb up there using the stairs on the side of the ziggurat. Egypt’s first pyramid is a step pyramid, similar to Mesopotamian Ziggurats. 10. The New World The New World (also known as the American Continent) was first brought to the attention of the Old World by brave explorers set out new trade routes with India and eastern Asia. They discovered the Americas and mistaken it for India. However, they were not the first Europeans to ever set foot in the new world. Around 1000AD, Viking ships from Norway and Iceland first landed in the northern regions of America, on the island of Newfoundland. The tale of their achievements was passed down from generation to generation. Archaeological evidence proves their arrival in North America. End notice: Most of the technologies invented in ancient times have been forgotten by the time of the dark ages, mostly because of the Church deeming them "unholy". They were rediscovered during the Renascence Period

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