Guess where the first device to measure earthquakes was invented

China was the most technologically advanced nation in the world for more than a thousand years. In fact, the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) put the Roman Empire (27 BC – 476 AD) to shame.

One example of China’s technological abilities was when the first seismograph was invented in 132 AD.  Zhang Heng’s device measured an earthquake in 134 AD, and he used the results to predict the location. Han Ministers didn’t believe him. Then a courier arrived and reported that an earthquake had taken place where Zhang said it did.

In 1951, Chinese scientists from China’s National Museum worked on recreating Zhang Heng’s seismograph. Since there was a limited amount of information, it took until 2007 to complete the reconstruction.

By comparison, it wasn’t until the 18th century (AD) that there is any record of Western scientists developing a seismograph.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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