WHO INVENTED THE COMPASS?
The magnetic pointer that forevermore changed navigation may go back as far as fourth or third century BC China, during the Han period. That said, it had nothing to do with getting around.
An early compass – a lump of pointed lodestone hanging from a cord, which turned towards the magnetic poles – would be used for divination and other fortune-telling practices. People believed it helped find suitable positions for buildings and crops, and even locate precious stones. They developed into elaborate items, with some surviving examples boasting a pointer moulded in a shape resembling a ladle.
The earliest-known conclusive description of a navigational compass, a magnetised needle floating in a bowl of water, comes in a Chinese text from 1044. The European equivalent is around a century older.
MISDIRECTION of a Confusingly, the handle south lodestone spoon points