The mythical ‘sunstone’ vikings used to navigate warships – scientists may have found it
An oblong crystal found in the wreck of a 16th-century English warship is a sunstone, a near-mythical navigational aid said to have been used by Viking mariners, researchers said on Wednesday.
The stone is made of Iceland spar, a transparent, naturally-occurring calcite crystal that polarizes light and can get a bearing on the Sun, they said.
It was found in the remains of a ship that had been dispatched to France in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I as a precaution against a second Spanish Armada but foundered off the island of Alderney, in the Channel.
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