Calcite beads a legend:
There is a beautiful Viking legend about Calcite. This one describes a glowing 'Calcite' that indicates the position of the sun when you hold it in the sky. This works even on a cloudy day. Researchers now believe that the stone actually existed. By conducting experiments with a similar stone found by archaeologists thirty years ago. 'Our' Calcite!
Navigators could have used this carbonate species to navigate thousands of miles on cloudy days. Dr. Guy Ropars of the University of Rennes says that 'a precision of a few degrees could be achieved' with the found stone, even when the sun was already below the horizon. Ropars and his team also believe that the Vikings may have reached North America that way many years before Columbus discovered the New World.
Calcite beads and vikings
The crystal was found 30 years ago in the wreck of a British ship off the coast of Alderney, the northernmost Channel Island. The ship sank in 1592, four years before the Spanish Armada was defeated.
Viking legend speaks of a cloudy and snowy day when King Olaf sought advice from Sigurd about the position of the sun. To confirm Sigurd's advice, Olaf "seized a sun stone, looked up to the sky, and saw whence the light came, then guessed where the invisible sun was."
Calcite bead and polarization
The crystal can indicate the position of the sun through polarization of the light in the sky. Many animals, such as bees, use polarization as a means of navigation. Sun rays bend due to the polarization, so that the position of the sun can be deduced even if the celestial body has already set. Isn't that a wonderful story?