History of solar eclipses and strange responses to them.

Johann Berkowski took this photograph of a total solar eclipse in 1851.

Johann berkowski

As one of the last big events of 2020, the sun will be dark. Fortunately, this is only expected to be temporary and lonely. Total solar eclipse Of the year.

Unlike the great eclipse, at least partially In 2017, many Americans knowThe 2020 eclipse on December 14 will be visible only from the southern tip of South America and the Atlantic and Pacific regions. Although it can be seen from anywhere through a live broadcast.

Although Total solar eclipse Lasting for just a few minutes, the rare event has a long history, covering all kinds of bizarre reactions from humans briefly shrouded in the darkness of daylight.

The Vikings raised loud noises to scare Schole and Hart, the two wolves in Norse mythology who chase the sun and the moon and catch them from time to time, causing eclipses. Centuries later, a woman worries about a 1748 doomsday solar eclipse “She locked herself in a room and cut her arm off,” she says. London Evening Post At the time.

In previous centuries, the understanding of the causes of these stellar abductions was less widespread. But we are enlightened, modern people are not immune.

In her 1982 article Total Eclipse, Annie Tillard recalls the screams of terror and / or excitement of seeing a solar eclipse swept across Washington state in 1979.

Steve Ruskin, historian astronomer and author of America’s first major eclipse, also found a character in common.

“I have read eclipses throughout history and am very surprised that regardless of duration or scientific knowledge (or lack thereof), human responses to an eclipse are consistently, globally, expressions of awe and wonder, and of fear and terror, ”Ruskin told me.

According to ancient myths and legends, Nordic wolves are not the only creatures that cause eclipses by swallowing the sun. Maya, who learned to predict eclipses, sometimes described them as a giant snake. The Incas seemed to believe that a jaguar had swallowed the moon to cause a lunar eclipse.

“A unique and often unknown response to the eclipse is found in the 1886 account of the Australian aborigines,” says Ruskin. They say that “the eclipse is believed to have been caused by another tribe on the moon, a people who are sick and angry, bringing Aboriginal Australians down from their ‘bad mood'”.


Description of an eclipse of 1613.

M. Bluntoil / Congress of the American Library

Real concerns

The ancient Babylonians had enough knowledge of mathematics to predict eclipses, but they still viewed them as bad omens for royalty. During the eclipse, they often place a commoner on the throne so that if really dark events happen to the king, they will fall on the false king. After the eclipse, Regal was rewarded for his service by killing the surrogate, ensuring that no bad ally of the eclipse with him was killed.

In the court of ancient China, astronomers faced a similar fate when they couldn’t predict an eclipse, and they are said to have been drunk. The 4,000-year history is inspiring later A poem has been around for centuries:

“Here are the bodies of Ho and Hi lying, whose fate seemed tragic, but they couldn’t spy on the invisible Teklips because they were hanged.”

That is possibly the most popular solar eclipse. It coincided with the death of King I of England in 1133. Chaos and civil war continued.

A Eclipse in Turkey in 585 BC C. It had the opposite effect. Forces at war may take it as a sign from the gods. As the story goes, the 15-year fight came to an abrupt end.

I am currently playing:
Notice this:

The solar eclipse is shaking millions in the United States, look at it all


Mind hit

After the eclipse of 647 BC, the Greek poet Archilocus considered other tricks that the gods might have for the following men:

“After this, men can trust anything and expect anything. If land animals move with dolphins and move to live in their salty pastures, no one in the future should be surprised. Earth, dolphins love mountains. ”

According to Ruskin, the coastal super-jerk Christopher Columbus used the event to get dark impressions of the local Jamaican people, convincing the locals that his group was better fed or at risk of angering their god. The arrival of the eclipse helped Columbus enslave the natives.

History’s strange response to total solar eclipses can be a lot less frenzied. When the morning sun set in Europe in 1230, local workers never thought about it. They went back to bed. According to historian Roger de Ventover, they should only be surprised when the sun returns to its normal brightness within an hour.

Even more shocking to see the sunset

“Often (eclipses) were a source of fear and anxiety,” says Ruskin. “There were no scientific explanations for the movement of the earth until the so-called European scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries. The sun and the moon tended to alleviate such concerns, at least among Europeans. ”

This scientific illumination allowed us to breathe deeply and look around us during eclipses. The phenomenon also has a strange effect on animals.

“A raven was the only animal near me; it was so agitated that it seemed to bend, side to side, flying unsteadily close to the ground. “Written by John Koch Adams About the 19th century eclipse.

Scientific interest in eclipses has also sparked some troubling attempts. Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleev uses a balloon. See the 1887 eclipse from a height of 2 miles in the air.

So, looking back now at some of the irrational, irrational, and outright bizarre reactions to this trigonometric trick, try to judge. Even today, the myth continues that an eclipse is a danger to pregnant women. When that which sustains all life suddenly disappears from the sky, who can say that it should not provoke some deep primal intuition that overwhelms the more rational responses of the conscious mind?

If you can get anywhere along the way on December 14, you’ll have a chance to find out first.