Author Topic: Nine Lost Treasures that science wants back.  (Read 1454 times)

Kai

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Nine Lost Treasures that science wants back.
« on: February 09, 2012, 11:03:02 pm »
http://www.newscientist.com/special/lost

The Maxberg Archaeopteryx- One of 11 complete specimens, first to show that the bones were hollow. Lost after the death of the owner, now for 20 years.


Musaeum regalis societalis
- A specimen of long neck seal showing natural variation that may in part have been responsible for myths of long necked marine creatures. Lost since the 17th century.

The Apollo Plaques - Brought back to Earth from the Moon during the Apollo missions, many of the moon rocks were gifted to foreign nations and US states. While the vast majority of the moon rocks are protected, many of the plaques have been stolen or lost.

The Peking Man - Discovered in 1921, these were the oldest homonid bones known at the time, and very clearly were that of a Homo but not of Homo sapiens that used tools and fire. Lost in 1941.

Greek Fire - A secret weapon of the Byzantine Empire, it was shot from the bow of ships and struck terror into the hearts of their enemies. The recipe is lost.

The Soviet Seed Bank - A collection of 250,000 seeds and plant samples from Soviet Russia, meant to contain varieties enough to feed a vast empire. A large portion were stolen by the NAZIs during WWII and taken to Lannach Castle in Austria. Now destroyed, lost, or misplaced in Russian university collections.


The Mars Polar Lander
- Sent to Mars' south pole in 1999 to study climate, lost connection upon landing. People are still searching from photographs.

Damascus Steel - Crucible steel produced by Middle Eastern smiths in the middle ages, with high flexibility and strength. The recipe was a guarded secret and is lost.


The Moon Trees
- In 1971 Stuart Roosa carried "roughly 500 pine, sycamore, sweetgum, redwood and Douglas fir seeds" with him on Apollo 14 to lunar orbit and returned with to Earth. Most germinated and were given to people in North America and around the world to plant, but no one kept track of where. The locations of ~80 are now known, most of which are still alive.
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Cramulus

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Re: Nine Lost Treasures that science wants back.
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2012, 11:25:51 pm »
these are cool! fascinating how such high profile stuff can just get LOST. Particularly secrets of production like damascus steel and greek fire. I'm reminded of how the Ancient Romans had concrete, but they took it to the grave, and then it took centures to be rediscovered.

Cain

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Re: Nine Lost Treasures that science wants back.
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2012, 11:41:50 pm »
I've wanted the secret to how to make Greek fire since I was about 8.  STOP KEEPING ME WAITING SCIENCE.

Nephew Twiddleton

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Re: Nine Lost Treasures that science wants back.
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2012, 11:44:31 pm »
The greeks understood steam power too. Imagine an alternate universe where the industrial revolution happened in ancient athens. Crazy huh?

But this stuff is cool kai ive never even heard of some of them.
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Re: Nine Lost Treasures that science wants back.
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2012, 11:49:41 pm »
The greeks understood steam power too. Imagine an alternate universe where the industrial revolution happened in ancient athens. Crazy huh?

But this stuff is cool kai ive never even heard of some of them.

I am now imagining Steampunk in ancient greek garb.
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Re: Nine Lost Treasures that science wants back.
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2012, 11:55:28 pm »
:lulz:
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Don Coyote

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Re: Nine Lost Treasures that science wants back.
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2012, 01:01:28 am »
The greeks understood steam power too. Imagine an alternate universe where the industrial revolution happened in ancient athens. Crazy huh?

But this stuff is cool kai ive never even heard of some of them.

I am now imagining Steampunk in ancient greek garb.

 :lulz:

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Re: Nine Lost Treasures that science wants back.
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2012, 03:58:57 pm »
these are cool! fascinating how such high profile stuff can just get LOST. Particularly secrets of production like damascus steel and greek fire. I'm reminded of how the Ancient Romans had concrete, but they took it to the grave, and then it took centures to be rediscovered.

The U.S. lost a shit ton of technology during WWII due to factories being repurposed. There are things-- mundane things-- that were made pre-WWII that engineers literally have no idea how to make now. It was really eye-opening to learn that.
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Re: Nine Lost Treasures that science wants back.
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2012, 05:29:36 pm »
Is Damascus steel really lost?

I mean, is there any effective difference between the damascus steel of old and what is called damascus steel today?
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Cramulus

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Re: Nine Lost Treasures that science wants back.
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2012, 05:50:50 pm »
Nooobody knoooows
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Elder Iptuous

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Re: Nine Lost Treasures that science wants back.
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2012, 05:53:13 pm »
look at the wiki entry for damascus.  it's pretty interesting....

also, Cram, i just looked at your avatar and post like a stereoscopic image and it was kinda creepy....

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Re: Nine Lost Treasures that science wants back.
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2012, 07:47:31 pm »
Is Damascus steel really lost?

I mean, is there any effective difference between the damascus steel of old and what is called damascus steel today?

That's the sort of thing modern blacksmiths can talk about endlessly. The guys who taught me what little I know about it will mostly tell you that anything called 'damascus steel' today is a reconstruction of what we think they had back then, and there's a lot of people who think they have what ought to be considered 'real' damascus.

It's sort of a muddled area where a lot of people think what you just said is totally valid: what we can make today using elaborate pattern-welding is probably close enough to be considered damascus steel. Then there's always the pedantic asshats who don't think it counts unless we really figure out the exact methods they used way back then.

And then there's the spags who are only really interested in marketing their product as being "Authentic, don't be fooled by imitators!"

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Re: Nine Lost Treasures that science wants back.
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2012, 07:18:31 pm »
Neat! 
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Re: Nine Lost Treasures that science wants back.
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2012, 11:29:19 pm »
The long necked seal would be cool to see. I wonder what else is out there and lost.
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