Engineers look into some strange problems now and then. This one is pretty strange. Finding a lost island. Today, on Engineering Works!
An island called Ithaca seems to be missing. If you don’t recognize the name, think back to your literature classes. Ithaca was the home of Odysseus, the hero of an epic Greek poem called the Odyssey. The Odyssey tells the story of Odysseus’s 10-year voyage home to Ithaca after the Trojan War. It’s a nifty story. Scholars and historians have been studying it for centuries. Now engineers are lending a hand. Here’s what they’re doing.
There is an island of Ithika in the Aegean Sea. The trouble is that this Ithika doesn’t look much like the Ithaca the poet wrote about in the Odyssey. It faces the wrong direction, for one thing.
Researchers in England and Scotland think this can be explained if earthquakes closed a narrow water passage between the original Ithaca the poet wrote about and a larger island nearby. Their idea is that the smaller island may have been Odysseus’s Ithika.
The engineers have figured out how to use the kind of imaging and analytical techniques petroleum engineers use to decide where to drill oil wells to see if the place the water would have been between the two islands is solid. If images show a gap filled with earthquake debris, it would support the researchers’ ideas.
It’s time for us to begin our voyage home. See you later.
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