Sunstone satnav: How Vikings used mysterious crystal to guide them to America


Simon Tomlinson
Mail Online
November 2, 2011

Ancient legends of Viking mariners using mysterious sunstones to reveal the position of the sun on a cloudy day may well be true, according to a new study.

Before the invention of the compass, Norse adventurers travelled thousands of kilometres across the oceans toward Greenland and most likely as far as North America centuries ahead of Christopher Columbus.

Evidence shows that these fearless seamen navigated by reading the position of the sun and stars along with an intimate knowledge of landmarks, currents and waves.

But how they could voyage such distances across seas at northern latitudes while hampered by light obscuring clouds and fog remained a mystery.

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