13 Lost Technologies That Will Never Be Rediscovered

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Technology comes and goes, and sometimes it gets lost forever. Countless times humans have conceived marvelous contraptions only to lose them or even worse, have them destroyed by accident. In this article, we’ll discuss 13 examples of technology which once existed but is no longer in our hands today.

Damascus Steel

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This sturdy material was commonly used between 1100 and 1700 AD in the Middle East. It is best known for its use in making blades and other useful tools. However, in 1750 AD the steel gradually lost ground and eventually disappeared completely from use.

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Stradivari Violins

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During the 17th and 18th century the Stradivari Violins were extremely popular in the classical music scene. The violins – made exclusively by the Stradivari families – were highly valued and their production method was a complete secret. Since then, no one has been able to recreate the delicate sound it produces. Only 600 Stradivari Violins exist nowadays.

Greek Fire

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This sticky material was popularly used during the 11th century to ward off enemies. It consisted of a liquid that was sprayed onto the target and which was consequently set aflame. Even though modern scientists have attempted to recreate the liquid, it is unknown exactly which components are needed to make it work correctly.

Apollo Space Program

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The Apollo Space Program was enormously successful as it was able to place the first human being on the moon. It was also one of the most expensive projects carried out by the United States. Unfortunately, much of the technology used for it is no longer in our hands, mainly because of the lack of proper documentation.

Roman Cement

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This special material was widely used by the Romans for many purposes. Some of Rome’s largest and most spectacular buildings such as the Pantheon were built using Roman Cement. During the Middle Ages however, the recipe used for it mysteriously disappeared and has never been found since.

Silphium

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Fever, headaches, and even warts were just a few on the conditions which could be cured by consuming Silphium. This product was especially valued during the Roman period because it was easily available. Its extensive use however has caused the plant which it is made from to go extinct, and we’ll never be able to properly understand it.

Telharmonium

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Conceived in 1897, this was one of the earliest electrical instruments used by humans. Its main uses were musical, as it produced a harmonious and delicate sound. Unfortunately, because of its monumental electrical costs, the instrument eventually became obsolete, and no longer exists nowadays.

Antikythera Mechanism

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In 1900 a group of scuba divers found this object hidden near the bottom off a Greek island. Resembling a clock, this may be one of the earliest examples of advanced technology. We cannot know for sure, as scientists are unable to examine its components.

Nepenthe

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This mysterious substance was popularly used by Greeks as a cure for depression. Made from a unique species of flower, this material is not well understood nowadays, even though there are some indications as to what it could be.

Alexandria Library

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A deadly fire completely decimated this expansive library in the year 300 BC. For its age, it was one of the largest and most prestigious libraries, containing all types of literature ranging from the natural sciences to mythology. To this day it remains unknown exactly what were its contents.

Flexible Glass

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The inventor of flexible glass suffered an inconvenient death as he was executed by the Roman emperor. He believed that the new glass could lower the value of gold and silver, harming the riches of the emperor. Needless to say, the glass never made it out of Rome and remains a complete mystery to this day.

Sloot Coding System

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This innovative approach towards coding didn’t quite work out. On the day its inventor was set to meet with Philips to sign a contract, he mysteriously died. With him, the necessary technology. It was believed that this new style of coding would revolutionize technology, but we’ll never be able to find out.

Mithridate

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Made with over 65 ingredients, Mithridate is said to be able to cure any type of aliment. In fact, its creator was unable to kill himself because he had consumed the substance for many years. Unfortunately, the recipe vanished and has never been recovered.

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