Resourceful Rogues - What the Vikings Did For Us!

Bring Home Vikings Season One Today on Blu-ray and DVD
With the popular first season of Vikings releasing on this week on DVD and Blu-ray, we are going to look at some ancient Nordic inventions that we still make use of today.  When people think of Vikings, many individuals draw the same conclusion often associating these menacing forefathers with murder and extortion. Whilst these three rather anti-social characteristics contain a certain element of truth, the ancient Norse were an extremely resourceful race and we have a lot to thank them for today…

The trusty comb has been every stylist’s number one tool for creating luscious locks for centuries.  You may not believe it, but it was the Vikings who first came up with the concept of this kind of comb-like device. It makes sense too. Consider the contemporary stereotype of a male Viking, with long unkempt hair; a clear candidate for a grooming object. Interestingly, Vikings often manufactured their combs from the antlers of red deer that were frequently hunted for food. Resourceful much? If antlers were in short supply, common bones (hopefully not human, but who knows) were used because of their strength and durability.
A trick! This is, in fact, a common myth. It is true that the Vikings wore helmets to protect their heads during battle, but they didn’t contain extruding horns. If you share this common misconception, you have 19th century German operatic composer, Wagner, to thank. In 1876, Wagner’s costume designer came up with the pointy design for all Viking characters in the ‘Ring Cycle’, a show that still attracts die-hard international audiences today.  Who would have thought something like that would catch on? We bet modern fancy dress salesmen are extremely grateful.

Although the Ancient Greeks take all the credit for ingeniously discovering magnetite, the raw material required to create magnets, the Vikings used natural magnetite deposits in their homeland to make the world’s first magnetic compass.  Perhaps this nifty invention is responsible for the Viking’s success in crossing the oceans to conquer foreign lands. Through vicious storms and blinding fog, the magnetic compass kept the Vikings one step ahead of rivals for a significant amount of time. Although Apple, amongst other computer whizzes, developed digital compasses, magnetic versions can still be found on the deck of most contemporary sea vessels.
While many people enjoy epic tales, you might not know that the Vikings were responsible for the creation of the saga. These stories help to preserve their culture’s history of conquests as well as adventurous tales and pass down lessons from generation to generation.
Enjoy the saga of Vikings Season One is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.


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