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How The Forbidden City Survived 200 Earthquakes

Proof of the genius of traditional Chinese architecture.

The Forbidden City, which is the Chinese imperial palace that started way back from the Ming Dynasty, is one of the most important ancient structures in the world. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. For almost 500 years, The Forbidden City was home to Chinese emperors and their households and was the political center of the country.

Renovations are in progress in preserving the Forbidden City, but considering how OLD the site is, it’s indeed beyond remarkable how the structures within survived the natural elements, most especially earthquakes.

In its 600 years of existence, The Forbidden City has survived 200 devastating earthquakes, including what is considered the deadliest of the 20th century.

Source: Moheet.com

Naturally, people like us in the modern world are curious as to what the Chinese did to make this possible.

What kind of architectural sorcery did the Chinese use to create an earthquake-proof structure?

This video shows us how modern-day carpenters and engineers figured out the secret to the Forbidden City’s stability. Using traditional carpentry techniques, specialist carpenters they built a replica of the palace that is a fifth of the original size. The engineers built the structure on a shake table to simulate earthquake.

They took note of the brackets called dougong, which was used to support the beams and columns of the palace. These hold the key to the stability of the building and instrumental in holding the intricate parts of the structure.

After the replica was finished, they tested the strength of the structure by subjecting it to a series of simulated quakes. They started on a 9.0 magnitude scale, then beyond 9.5, which is the largest recorded quake in history. To give you an idea how monstrous that magnitude is, its energy is equivalent to the effect of 2 billion tonnes of TNT.

After much shaking, the structure was still standing at magnitude 10.1. The carpenters and engineers involved in the project could only marvel at the proof of the genius of traditional Chinese architecture.

Watch the video to see the amazing results:

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History

Why Is Iceland Green and Why Is Greenland Icy?

This is why I have trust issues…

Countries have interesting origin stories about how they get their names. Generally speaking, country names are either based on the land’s features, a tribe, a person, or even a directional description.

Bahrain, for example, literally means “Two Seas” while United States of America was named after Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci. On the other hand, Norway, as its name implies, means “The Way North” or “The Northern Way” while Mauritania is based on the Mauris, the country’s largest ethnic group.

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History

Why Sin Eating Was Once The Worst Job In The World

Technically, it was a thankless job.

If you think you are unfortunate for having to hold on to a job that you think sucks, bear in mind that at one point in history, there were people who went the extent of risking their salvation just for money. For the so-called Sin Eaters then, it did not matter if they had to suffer eternal damnation in hell for as long they could eat and have some coins in their pockets.

While a Sin Eater is already a thing of the past, there is no questioning that it held the notion as being the worst job in England, Scotland, and Wales where it was practiced from the Middle Ages until the early 1900s. You see, a Sin Eater had to eat a piece of bread placed on the chest of a dying person, otherwise known as a sin-soaked bread, while the family of the would-be departing person watched, prayed, and drank a flagon of ale.

By eating the sin-soaked bread, it was believed then that a Sin Eater could absolve the dying person from his sins, and his chances of entering heaven would improve.

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History

Touching Plane Crash Memorial Site Spotted via Google Maps

The incident claimed 170 lives and its memorial is beautifully haunting.

On September 19, 1989, international passenger plane UTA Flight 772 was en route from Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo to the Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris. Tragically, the aircraft never made it to its destination as a bomb in the cargo hold blew up, causing it to break up over the Sahara desert.

The explosion, which later became known as the deadliest plane-related incidents in Niger, claimed the lives of all the 156 passengers and 14 crew members. French investigators later confirmed that it was an attack by Libyan terrorists.

Fast forward to 2007, Les Familles de l’Attentat du DC-10 d’UTA, an associated of the victims’ families, created a beautiful memorial for their departed loved ones. Now the said memorial is visible via Google Maps and Google Earth.

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