Sunday, December 1, 2013

Did The Earth Move for You?

The mystery had internet sleuths abuzz for months!
How could a 4,000yr-old Egyptian statue of Neb-Senu turn 180 degrees while in a sealed glass box?
Neb himself was pretty
relaxed about the fuss!
Now a tv investigation has uncovered the truth: tiny vibrations from traffic cause the Manchester Museum artefact to slowly spin on its axis.
The discovery ends frenzied speculation, after video footage showed the 10"-tall stone statue turning without being touched. Suggestions ranged from magnetic fields to an ancient curse of an Egyptian god. The story even hit US breakfast tv!
The real cause was found by vibrations expert Steve Gosling. His specialised three-axis sensor under the glass cabinet revealed that at peak traffic time (such as at 7am and 6pm), vibrations would cause the statue to rotate, while there was no movement overnight.There's a lump at the bottom of the statue, which made it more susceptible to vibrations than others nearby which had a flat base.
The statue (c.1,800 BC) has been in the museum since 1933, and drew huge crowds as visitors tried to crack the riddle.
[Watch the video: see the row of four statuettes? Eyes on the tall dark one at the far end...]

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