The ancient conqueror across the ocean
There is a magical ethnic group in the Pacific Ocean. About 3000 BC, they migrated from Taiwan Island to the Philippine Islands, then to the Indonesian Islands, and then to Melanesia, and finally expanded to Polynesia in the Central Pacific between AD 900-1200. Triangle area. This triangle area is vast, starting from the Hawaiian Islands in the north, Easter Island in the southeast, and New Zealand Islands in the southwest, covering an area equivalent to the entire Eurasian continent.
This ethnic group is Polynesian. They are scattered on distant islands in the Pacific Ocean, but they all have similar languages and customs, and they keep in touch with each other. After the great development of modern navigation technology, Europeans only discovered these Pacific islands in the 18th century. Polynesians had settled on them for more than 500 years. Why did these indigenous people without any modern navigation equipment have the ability to sail oceans 5000 years ago? What do they rely on to occupy such a vast ocean?
The answer lies in the fact that Polynesians are born astrologers. Every Polynesian helmsman has a star map with hundreds of stars in his heart. Even if the rest of the sky is full of clouds, as long as a small piece of the sky can be seen shining stars, Polynesians can find the direction. They give each island the “highest star”. When the star shines on their ship from the top of their heads, they are on the same east-west horizontal line with the island, and then use the sun to determine the east-west direction, and then they will continue to sail. Can reach the island. For example, Sirius is the highest star in Tahiti. This is the practical application of the modern equatorial coordinate system. The east-west horizontal line is actually the same latitude.
Let the stars take them drifting
This kind of navigation is still taught in the islands of Polynesia. In the spring of 1976, in order to verify the actual effect of Polynesian sailing skills, scientists selected a Polynesian navigator Mao Piailu, let him drive a small boat, alone to go to sea.
Mao Piailu was the most prestigious Polynesian navigator at the time. He was very familiar with stars and could name more than 100 stars, as well as the position, color, and brightness of each star. When going to sea, he did not bring a compass, sextant, or any drawings. He did not use longitude, latitude, angle, etc., and did not do any mathematical calculations.
His boat carried only drinking water and dry food. He allowed the boat to form a fixed angle with the wind, and sail along a straight line formed by a rising star and a falling star on the opposite side. Rely on the stars and moon to point the direction at night; during the day sometimes the sun and sometimes the sea point the direction. In the sea, he judges the direction and distance of the coast by feeling the water flow through the hull of the boat, judging the depth of the water by the color of the sea, and judging the distant reef coral by the reflection of the cloud bottom in the sky; if the fish tastes more sweet than usual, it means Danshui River is not far from here; if a flock of birds returns home in the evening, it indicates the direction of land or island.
In this way, Mao Piailu lasted a month, sailing 2500 nautical miles (about 4600 kilometers) from Hawaii to Tahiti (located in the central waters of the Polynesian triangle, he has never been to Tahiti before) , Which successfully proved that the ancient sailing skills of the Polynesians are indeed magical.
In fact, most of the time in history, human beings get along with nature in this way. In ancient times, by observing the stars and celestial phenomena, mankind knew the seasonal solar terms of the farming mulberry and jasmine; in modern times, by observing the stars, mankind knew better where he was in the universe. Ancient astrology, astrology, sacrificing to the heavens and the earth may have many unscientific aspects, but they have a profound impact on people’s behavior.