SCI-ART LAB

Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication

In the ancient times when scientific knowledge was not so prolific, people used to come up with silly reasons and causes that arose in minds that are filled with fear of the unknown when they saw anything unusual happening around them.   Now too some people live in the same stage. 

But people with a scientific and rational minds will think and come up with facts that effect the things that happen around them. There lies the difference. The second set of people help the world get a relief from fear and agony the world faces because of 'unknown' factors effecting it.

A recent incident that has happened in a Manchester museum is one such thing that showed the difference between the first set of people ( ordinary ) and the second set (people of science).

An ancient Egyptian statue which sparked whispers of an ancient curse when it was found to be turning on its axis inside its display case at a museum wasn't cursed after all, a mystery solver told. An expert from a ITV show says his evidence of external vibrations turning the 10-inch tall statue is conclusive.

People at Manchester Museum were puzzled by the statuette which - a video showed - seemed to spin itself through 180 degrees without anyone touching it. The 10-inch tall statue of Neb-Sanu, which dates back nearly 4,000 years and was found in a mummy's tomb, has been at the Museum for 80 years. The time-lapse video showed it turning during the day, apparently of is own volition. During the night, however, it remained still.

An Egyptologist at the museum, Mr. Campbell  Price, then suggested the museum may have been struck by ancient curse. According to him, when he noticed that it had turned around, he thought it was strange because it is in a case and he was the only one who has the key to it. He put it back but again the next day it had moved again.  People at the museum set up a time-lapse video and, although the naked eye can't see it, one can clearly see it rotate on the film. The statuette is something that used to go in the tomb along with the mummy.  In ancient Egypt they believed that if the mummy is destroyed then the statuette can act as an alternative vessel for the spirit. "Maybe that is what is causing the movement" according to the people at the museum!

Spooky?

Not really!

Because  scientists entered the scene to check things and give an explanation based on facts. Professor Brian Cox, who teaches Physics at the Manchester University, came up with this theory: We think it is differential friction, where two surfaces - the serpentine stone of the statue and glass shelf  it is on - cause a subtle vibration which is making the statuette turn.

Then ITV's MysteryMap programme seems to have solved the conundrum, backing Professor Cox's explanation. Their expert Steve Gosling put three-axis vibration sensors under the cabinet, and found a peak vibration level - coinciding with movement from passers-by and traffic from the very busy Oxford Road nearby.

According to Mr. Gosling " The vibration is a combination of multiple sources so there are buses outside on the busy road, there is footfall activity. And it is all of those things combined. This statue has a convex base. There is a lump at the bottom which makes  it more susceptible to vibrations than others which have a flat base. This is conclusive!"

And  Neb-Sanu's spinning days have come to an end as a  conservation-grade membrane has now been affixed to the base of this statuette and other objects to prevent movement in future.

So who is correct? Who is fearless? And who is going forward? The answers to all these questions are obvious!

Trust science to make your lives free from fears and  make them fun and worth living!

Story source: The Independent with other inputs from Sci-Art Lab

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