In 1900, divers discovered the wreck of an ancient-Greek ship called the Anikythera near the island of Crete. The wreck, believed to have sunk a year before the birth of Christ contained a mechanical computer powered by gears and levers. It’s purpose mystified scientists and it took half a century before researchers realised this complex machine was used to calculate astronomical positions to predict future celestial events such as eclipses.
Incredibly, the “Anikythera Mechanism” was believed to have been built around 100-BC had the mechanical sophistication of a 19th century Swiss clock and was 5000 years ahead of the first astronomical clocks made in the 14th century.
Using x-rays and radiographic images, scientists have been able to build replicas of the machine, including this wonderful effort made from Lego. As the caption says at the end of the video, it’s “Pretty impressive for a bunch of plastic blocks. (Or ancient gears for that matter.)
It just goes to show that any idea, even ancient ones, can be unique again if you put your own special touch to it.