Thu
October 13, 2016
Ancient Chinese Earthquake Detector
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I have always been interested in ancient civilisations such as China, Egypt and Mesopotamia as they reflect the sophistication and advancements of the people at that time. Although people of that era did not have the modern facilities and education that we enjoy today, what’s incredible is that much of what we know today is a result of our ancestors’ contribution. China is one of the greatest of the old civilizations. The intelligence and ingenuity of the Chinese is incredible.

I hope you enjoy this article as it says a lot about the intellect and genius of people in ancient times. They did not have modern technology or references to accomplish their goals, but they strove to learn and conquered the impossible.

Tsem Rinpoche

 


 

2,000-Year-Old Earthquake Detector Worked With Accuracy in China

By Tara MacIsaac, Epoch Times
July 20, 2014 AT 5:50 AM
Last Updated: September 3, 2015 5:26 pm

A replica of an ancient Chinese seismoscope from the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 A.D.), and its inventor, Zhang Heng. (Wikimedia Commons)

In 132 A.D., Zhang Heng presented the Han court with the world’s first seismoscope. A 2005 replica was even said to detect earthquakes with the same precision as modern instruments.

Historical accounts tell of its great accuracy, though its precise design remains a mystery. The outer appearance and functioning is known for certain, but its inner workings remain open to speculation. The replicas have been built on the best guesses from such speculation.

The most common theory states that a pendulum inside the copper urn would move when an earthquake occurred, even if the quake was hundreds of miles away. The pendulum would hit a system of levers to open the mouth of one of the eight dragons on the outside of the urn. Each dragon’s mouth contained a bronze ball. This ball would roll out, landing in the mouth of a toad figurine below, making a loud clang.

A historical account described the ringing in the toad’s mouth to be so loud it could rouse the whole court from sleep, wrote Dr. Jan Pajak of the Wellington Institute of Technology in a paper prepared for the 2005 International Conference on Sensing Technology.

The dragon that had its mouth opened would be the one pointing in the direction of the earthquake. The eight dragons pointed east, west, north, south, northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest respectively.

The invention was initially met with skepticism in its day, though Zhang was already a renowned scientist, selected to be the court’s chief astronomer. In 138 A.D., a bronze ball sounded the first alarm.

It indicated that the earthquake happened west of Luoyang, the capital city. No one had felt a quake in Luoyang, so the alarm was ignored, but a few days later, a messenger from west of Luoyang arrived in the city to report that his region had experienced an earthquake. The earthquake had occurred at the same time Zhang’s machine sounded the alarm. This city of Longxi, some 300 miles away, lay in ruins.

Feng Rui and Yu Yan-Xiang of the Institute of Geophysics, China Earthquake Administration, deduced in 2006 that this first earthquake detected by Zhang’s machine was magnitude 7 in Longxi, with an epicenter at Tianshui on Dec. 13, 134 A.D.

The machine’s purpose was to detect earthquakes in distant regions so aid could be deployed. It worked until the death of its inventor, but apparently the device was so complex only Zhang could keep up with its maintenance effectively.

The seismoscope was called Houfeng didong yi, the “instrument for measuring the seasonal winds and the movements of the Earth.” Modern attempts at replication have met with varying success, and all were built on the use of inertia, a principle integral to modern seismographs.

Dr. Pajak explains this use of intertia: “In this principle an earthquake shakes a frame of an instrument, so that this frame is displaced in relation to an inertial pendulum, while this displacement is registered as the indication of an earthquake.”

Attempts to Replicate

In 1939, Japanese scientist Akitsune Imamura built a replica showing the device to be effective, according to Hong-Sen Yan in the book “Reconstruction Designs of Lost Ancient Chinese Machinery.”

However, wrote Hong-Sen, “in some circumstances the direction of an earthquake’s epicenter was found to be at right angles to the dropped ball.”

In 2005, several scientists from various disciplines at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Museum, and China Earthquake Administration declared a new replica to be the best yet.

“It represents our current utmost understanding of the ancient Didong instrument,” said Teng Jiwen, a research fellow at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics, according to a report from that time by state-run media People’s Daily.

The replica reportedly responded to the reproduced waves of four actual earthquake events in Tangshan, Yunnan, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and Vietnam. Tested against modern earthquake graphs, the replica was shown to be accurate and its shape fit that described in historical texts.

The Inner Workings

Hong-Sen cited a passage from a contemporary biography of Zhang, the first design specification left to us in historical texts: “There is one pillar (du zhu) in the center of the interior and eight transmitting rods near the pillar.”

Transmitting rods would refer to channels through which some object would be transported, explained Hong-Sen, but nothing more specific is written about the rods.

Dr. Pajak has another theory. He wrote that the machine has been described in historical texts as containing water, as having water flow out of the dragons’ mouths like a fountain.

He hypothesized that the water flowed smoothly (as opposed to turbulently), a characteristic known as laminar flow. The shape of the chamber (parabolic) was designed to deflect vibrations coming from the earthquake zone. The deflected vibrations would focus on the inlet of the pipe in the appropriate direction, causing the water that had been washing around the metal ball to push the ball out of the dragon’s mouth.

Robert Reitherman, executive director of the Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering, expressed skepticism concerning the historical accounts of the machine’s accuracy in his book, “Earthquakes and Engineers: An International History.”

He wrote: “At a close distance, the whole instrument would be so severely shaken that the balls on multiple perches would have jostled loose. … At a [far] distance, ground motion from an earthquake does not leave clear footprints indicating the direction from whence those vibrations came, because the ground shakes in various directions rather chaotically by the time it reaches the instrument.”

If this machine worked as well as historical accounts describe, and if the successes of some modern replicas hint that the machine could work with such precision, it seems Zhang’s genius remains out of our grasp for now.

Some of Zhang’s other accomplishments include calculating pi (π) as being between 3.1466 and 3.1622, refining a time-keeping device know as an “inflow clepsydra,” and applying hydraulic motive power to rotate an astronomical instrument known as an armillary sphere.

Source: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/808002-2000-year-old-earthquake-detector-worked-with-accuracy-in-china/?utm_expvariant=D002_02&utm_expid=21082672-

 

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49 Comments

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Liang Jing on Nov 20, 2016 at 10:15 pm

I think this creation is amazing and saving lifes, because this creation create in long time ago, and it is accurate like our mordern earthquake detector, and can detect the earthquake before it is coming.

Julien Roth on Nov 20, 2016 at 6:00 pm

This sounds like such a fantastic device! Despite it being over 2,000 years old it is still very accurate and effective at doing its job. The inventor, Zhang Heng must have really been a truly intelligent person to have created such a device at such a time. I could only imagine the impact that machine would have done for people then.

One of the most interesting parts of this article for me is that once Zhang Heng passed away, nobody could maintain the device as it was so complex. That just shows that there really wasn’t anyone like Zhang Heng. I have a newly found respect for him.

Tan Soon Huat on Nov 20, 2016 at 5:37 pm

It is interesting article. The device is not just effective but I think the creaator did think of the outlook of the design of the device. The dragon was represented power or king. Toad was signed of properity. It is just amazing.

I am not sure why the knowledge of maintaining it did not pass down. It could be too complicated that no one can maintain that. However, it reminded me that a lot of great knowledge or skill such as kung fu was not passed down which was due to selfishness of the Master or insecure feeling of Master. The Masters always like to keep the most powerful skill to death so that they are still valuable to others.

However, Buddhism or Dharma knowledge is in other way. Guru wants to teach but nobody would like to follow. We should seize the golden precious opportunity to learn and practice Dharma as the opportunity might not knock twice (remember the blind turtle story). Regardless all the obstacles which could be created by our negative karma in past, we should keep our goal clear and believe in Guru.

Thank You Rinpoche for sharing this interesting article.

Wei Theng on Nov 20, 2016 at 3:00 am

It is amazing to know that at the time of 2000 years ago, there are genius Zhang Heng that can created the invention that can detect earth quake with high accuracy. And so many scientists tried to duplicate it but still not 100% sure the theory used by Zhang Heng.

I found a documentary in Mandarin that shared about how the scientist tried to solve the mystery by Zhang Heng and created the new replica. Interesting to see the theory behind the invention: 揭开张衡地动仪千古之谜 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrxZRJh8axM

Attached is the picture of the new invention.

Screen Shot 2016-11-19 at 6.33.50 PM

Wan Wai Meng on Nov 19, 2016 at 3:59 am

Reverse engineering is the process of replicating a technology and maybe even innovating the current technology, by taking a machine a part and figuring how it works, for the purpose of making the similar one, or innovating it.

So despite the top engineers, they were not able to understand how it works or even replicate it. What kind of thinking, led to this piece of machinery? What kind of paradigm shift would have be needed to know how this machinery works?

Was his logic and thinking, something he developed, or did get such formulation from some other otherworldly sources?

    Wan Wai Meng on Nov 19, 2016 at 4:14 am

    I just watched the video from Lai, it seems that the Chinese, have replicated this ancient seismograph, kudos to them. That this device was triggered by inertia.

    Amazing Chinese engineers have cracked it.

Albert on Nov 17, 2016 at 9:16 am

This little device is so amazing that even after so many years, people still find it hard to figure out how Zhang Heng can create such amazing earthquake detector. This takes more than just a genius to create it.

It has clearly shown the intelligence of ancient people, during that time, they have no advance technology, no internet, nothing as convenient as today, but infact, the quality of their invention is even better than today, by just looking at the ancient buildings, they build big buildings without big machine, without big crane, without current technology, but the buildings they built can last for so many hundreds of years, or even thousands of years, it still stay better than the buildings we built today.

Julia Tan on Nov 17, 2016 at 8:50 am

China being one of the oldest country in the world, many innovative inventions have been created just that it was not being recognised by the other part of the world. China has been one of the most advanced and powerful nations throughout over 5000 years history. Many things created by Chinese have used until today. Chinese has been migrated to every part of world brought along their unique creations and culture. They have been Inspired others to travel to China to learn and study.

Pastor Antoinette on Nov 17, 2016 at 8:30 am

This Earthquake Detector is for sure remarkable. Not only is it 2.000 years old but it was extremely effective. To invent such an instrument with the means this person had, shows his intelligence and ingenuity.

This is also not his only invention and he was also the Chinese court’s chief astronomer, a position i guess was very important at that time, when so little was known about the sun, moon and stars.

It is very revealing that this invention has been copied in our time but we don’t know about a similar extraordinary invention despite all the instruments and possibilities we have today.

Thank you Rinpoche for this intriguing article.

Pastor Chia on Nov 17, 2016 at 6:30 am

Reading through this interesting article about Zhang Heng,the inventor an ancient Chinese seismoscope from the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 A.D.), it show how human wisdom are wise and un- predictable. Human wanting learn knowledge has never stop since the old civilisation until today world. For example lord Buddha teaching has show many people how profound our own mind can be. That is one of the reason, I’m was attract by buddhist philosophy,study more to understand our true nature of our own mind.

Jace Chong on Nov 17, 2016 at 1:46 am

Thanks Rinpoche and the blog team for sharing this interesting machine invented in Chinese culture.

Personally I think the detector not only useful, it’s artistic as well by the way it alarms on the earthquake. Although the detector didn’t meet the modern science criteria, it did serve a good purpose on that time.

Thank you.

June Kang on Nov 17, 2016 at 12:53 am

張衡發明的”地動儀“被全世界公認為地震學的”鼻祖”,他同時也精通天文、地理、機械、算數、文學、繪畫、哲學,如此全面發展之人物世界之所罕見。

我们是不是每个人都有張衡的聪明呢?不同的是还没被挖掘出来,根据逻辑佛教认为人人皆有佛性,人人皆可成佛。“一切众生,具有如来智慧德相。”人人都可以通过修行觉悟,成佛作祖。佛是大智慧者,大智慧者也能精通世界所有的事。所以我相信我们都有張衡的聪明,你认为呢?

Eric kksiow on Nov 17, 2016 at 12:52 am

Interesting topic of Ancient Chinese Earthquake Detector.

In 2005, scientists in Zengzhou, China (which was also Zhang’s hometown) managed to replicate Zhang’s seismoscope and used it to detect simulated earthquakes based on waves from four different real-life earthquakes in China and Vietnam. The seismoscope detected all of them. As a matter of fact, the data gathered from the tests corresponded accurately with that gathered by modern-day seismometers!

Today, from an advanced modern science and technology point of view, the seismometer Zhang Heng invented is still considered amazingly refined and remarkable and way ahead of its time.

Pastor Henry Ooi on Nov 17, 2016 at 12:25 am

It is inspiring to read of brilliant works from geniuses regardless in the past or present time. Maybe the answers to these inventions or phenomena have been existing and they needed brilliant minds to unravel them.

Maybe genuises during ancient times were taught by visiting extraterrestrials from other galaxies. Modern day scientists are in awe of monumental structures, irrigation, engineering devices, astrology and the likes that were built and invented in those ancient days where it would have taken huge effort and time to complete. I wonder if this was the work of higher intelligence back then that somehow left no evidence for modern day people to prove their existence of visiting Earth.

Datuk May on Nov 17, 2016 at 12:22 am

It is really amazing that such a machine which detects earthquakes was invented almost 2,000 years ago by a Chinese great scientist, Zhang Heng. How it was also proven to be accurate.

At the same time, there is no real surprise as Chinese civilisation is 5,000 years old. After all the Chinese invented paper and gun powder.

The sad part is that the legacy of this great scientist is not recorded and whatever is being replicated is by guesses and new methods of calculation. That to me is a real shame.

Had Zhang Heng’s legacy remained and further improved or modernised, the last Tsunami may have been prevented and controlled and killed less people.

Mingwen on Nov 17, 2016 at 12:19 am

It’s always a myth regarding on the methods of building great structures and inventions at the past when technology was not advanced like now at 2016.

Were they built or invented by aliens?

Personally, I think that people at the past were not compulsory to possess lower intelligence level when we compared them with us those who are living in 2016 There are tons of inventions and building around the world which are invented by great people at the past etc., Great Wall @China, Pyramid. Gradually people will then modifies those inventions accordingly to their needs.

Andrea Lai on Nov 17, 2016 at 12:18 am

It’s a interesting article about ancient inventors who could built such magnificent things like earthquake detector,pyramid etc without any modern technology like today. As we are now leaving in the world of fully new modern civilization, I could see people are too depended on the technologies which shorten their determination in advance and deteriorating their mind.Therefore I salute to those inventors of their pure genius, intellectual and hard work.
Thank you, Rinpoche for your sharing.

With folded palms,
Andrea

Pastor Henry Ooi on Nov 17, 2016 at 12:12 am

Tuesday (8.30pm)
1. tsemrinpoche.com
Topic: Why aren’t the monasteries helping the drought?
http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/why-arent-the-monasteries-helping-the-drought.html

The CTA should not have waited that long and did nothing for the poor farmers. With modern day technology and more accurate weather forecast, CTA would knew in advance how bad and how long the drought would have lasted. They could have taken measures to prepare for the drought but no, they were busy with political work that benefitted them personally. And the political work includes the ban on Dorje Shugden practice that is not only affecting Dorje Shugden practitioners but also the poor farmers brought on by the prolonged drought. And instead of spending time and money in coming out with the latest, a video against Dorje Shugden, CTA should have used it for the drought problem. As said by Rinpoche, and I reiterate: the ban has resulted in broken samaya among many sangha members and lay people in the Tibetan community in India.

I hope to see the end of the ban so that families, relatives, friends and divided sangha members can be reunited again. I pray it will be soon.

Wednesday (8.30pm)
1. tsemrinpoche.com
Topic: Ancient Chinese Earthquake Detector
http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/ancient-chinese-earthquake-detector.html

It is inspiring to read of brilliant works from geniuses regardless in the past or present time. Maybe the answers to these inventions or phenomena have been existing and they needed brilliant minds to unravel them.

Maybe genuises during ancient times were taught by visiting extraterrestrials from other galaxies. Modern day scientists are in awe of monumental structures, irrigation, engineering devices, astrology and the likes that were built and invented in those ancient days where it would have taken huge effort and time to complete. I wonder if this was the work of higher intelligence back then that somehow left no evidence for modern day people to prove their existence of visiting Earth.

nicholas on Nov 16, 2016 at 11:50 pm

It’s amazing during the ancient time such detector able to be invented. Zhang Heng definitely is a genius and is a very knowledgeable person in various field. There are people like him that I have read about during the ancient time that capable in many ways and it has always been a mystery on their capabilites.

Take pyramid for an example everyone puzzle on how it was build but it’s reality in front of our eyes. Some may relate the knowledge or the physical work was due to some intelligent being that out of this planet. But personally I learned that there is no limit of what things can be done but just need to know how it can be done. it may really due to some external source but it can be done.

pammie yap on Nov 16, 2016 at 11:27 pm

Its a very intriguing post and it also made me think about the pyramids. How until today nobody can figure them out. Although scientists claimed that they have replicated the device, but it is still not 100%.

June Kang shared with a group of us during discussion, of Zhang Heng’s life. He was a “Chinese astronomer, mathematician, inventor, geographer, cartographer, artist, poet, statesman, and literary scholar. He is noted for many ancient Chinese inventions.”
Wow! He is indeed a very learned person, which also got me thinking of whether he is an emanation of a Buddha or he is sent here from another planet! Hehe… Bu the important thing is that how we should look at things in a bigger picture and not be stuck with our own small space.

Jutika Lam on Nov 16, 2016 at 10:21 pm

It was really interesting to read this article on the ancient Chinese earthquake detector which was invented by Zhang Heng.

It is a wonder to know that such a device with such great accuracy, functionality and complexity was already existing so long ago which until today, scientists are still not able to exactly replicate the original.

The inner workings of the original device is what intrigues scientists and even myself. What could possibly have been inside that made maintaining it a tedious and difficult task, one that only Zhang was able to do.

I hope that the people behind the research of this wonderful device reach a breakthrough soon so that people around the world are able to know about the wonders of this machine and what made it so reliable and accurate.

Thank you Rinpoche for sharing!

Anne Ong on Nov 12, 2016 at 7:11 pm

Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article, which tells us about the 2000-year-old earthquake detector from China. It is always amazing to learn how people from ancient times can build and invent things without the modern technology. This is the first time I am seeing the first earthquake detector in history that can save so many people in China.

Vivian Ong on Nov 8, 2016 at 11:44 pm

Thank you Rinpoche for this informative article. It is always amazing to learn how people from ancient times can build and invent things without the modern technology for example the pyramid in Egypt. But in this article, the Chinese was able to invent an earthquake detector which proves to be accurate. I really salute to all the inventors from ancient times till now for their good works and inventions.

With folded palms,
Vivian

Stella Cheang on Nov 8, 2016 at 12:13 pm

It is marvelous to read that modern scientist had finally cracked the “code” and produce a similar replica that can generate the same accuracy in predicting earthquake. It is purposeful invention as such that benefit mankind and save life. I hope there are more invention like this now and future. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.

Ron Wong on Oct 30, 2016 at 7:08 pm

This is an incredible invention from the Chinese. Despite the lack of modern technology, references & educations in the ancient time, Zhang Heng’s determination, dedication, hard work are clearly reflected in his invention. Many lives had been saved because of this device. Till these days, these culture & attitude of the Chinese are very much alive in all sectors of development, as China has just taken over USA being the largest economy of the world. I guess nothing is impossible when we are willing to learn, work hard & commit.

Thank you Rinpoche.

So Kin Hoe (KISG) on Oct 29, 2016 at 11:27 pm

Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article, which tells us about the 2000-year-old earthquake detector from China. This is the first time I am seeing the first earthquake detector in history that can save so many people in China, especially during the ancient time where no modern technology was available.

The high accuracy and consistency of the ancient seismoscope invented by Zhang Heng suggested that Zhang Heng was very hard working, thinking out of the box and willing to spend effort in order to save many people through his invention of the first seismoscope in the world. These good qualities such as hard working, thinking out of the box and willing to spend effort for the benefits of others should be cultivated among people who truly practise compassion and selflessness in the spiritual practice.

Many news have shown that China will continue to grow stronger and bigger as most Chinese are very hard working and dedicated to their respective tasks given.

Thank you Rinpoche with folded hands,
kin hoe

Edwin Tan on Oct 27, 2016 at 4:08 am

Dear Rinpoche,

Thank you for the article.

It clearly shows how knowledgeable ancient people are. I guess it is due to all the hard work and readings they made in the past without present distractions like mobile phones, internet or TV.

It is said and known that the Chinese created the 4 treasures of study – brush, ink, paper, inkstone.

Imagine life without paper now, although use of ink was widely popularised by the western countries.

The Chinese also created gun powder… although they did not have practical use for it till the western countries developed guns and cannons with it.

It is simply amazing how so many can be achieved thousands of years ago.

What truly piques me was how the great pyramids of Egypt was created without modern heavy machineries… how on earth did they built such tall structures. Most importantly, each block forming the pyramids was proportionately cut!
Not to mention the angle and dimensions calculated to properly preserve the mummified bodies.

Ancient civilisations had truly taught us and gave us the opportunity for great advancement.

Thank you.

Candice Loke on Oct 22, 2016 at 6:18 pm

感恩仁波切的分享!
其实看到这篇文章心中还蛮有感触的。
以前高中就略微读过关于张衡发明的候风地动仪,殊不知原来这个发明到今时今日还被现代的科学家专研及复制,并且还能准确地得知地震发生的方位从而对灾区进行抢救工作。
这个让我联想了很多 – 中国古代人的智慧渊源流传,影响世人的著作以及发明也都比比皆是。不过自从清朝末年八国联军以及文革之后中国泱泱大国在各各方面都落后了全世界一大步。很可惜!
中国历代老祖宗的智慧是很深邃的 – 就不知他们智慧的根源什么 – 是不是与大自然比较亲近与尊重而达到天地人合一的境界有关。。。?
不管怎样,希望下来中国能够再次展现他们七千年文化与智慧的优势,更正面地影响及领导地球在未来的发展!

OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SOHA

Uncle Eddie on Oct 21, 2016 at 10:01 pm

China is truly the greatest inventor of the first Ancient Chinese Seismoscope(earthquake detector) from the Eastern Han Dynasty, whose inventor, was Zhan Heng(25-220 AD.) Exact 2005 replicas have been built on the precised design of the original and was said to be able to detect earthquakes with the same precision as the modern instruments of today. Its historical accounts tell of its great accuracy through the replicas been built in 2005, through the Institute of Geophysics, China Earthquake Administration. It was attested that “modern attempts at replication have met with varying success, and all were built on the use of inertia, a principle integral to modern seismographs”. Many heartfelt congratulations and thanks to China and for its good leadership qualities, and May all successes continue to happen so as to benefit all sentient beings. Thanks for making us feel so honourable to be a Chinese. Om mani padme Hung.

Stella Cheang on Oct 20, 2016 at 11:19 pm

Hard to imagine an engineering invention from 132 A.D. that has yet been cracked by anyone today. Zhang Heng’s first seismoscope had successfully detected earthquakes with the same precision as modern instruments. However, the design of this masterpiece remains a mystery. In 2005, several scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Museum, and China Earthquake Administration had successfully recreated a replica that worked. This goes to show Zhang Heng’s talent was beyond our comprehension. Thank you for this interesting article.

Pastor Han Nee on Oct 18, 2016 at 2:18 pm

In 132 AD, the inventor Zhang Heng presented the Han court with his invention of an earthquake detector. How it was so precisely constructed as to measure earthquakes with the same precision as modern instruments remains a mystery. The first earthquake it measured was in 138 AD. This earthquake had occurred in Longxi. with a magnitude of 7. The earthquake occurred at the same time as Zhang’a machine sounded the alarm!

The machine’s purpose was to detect earthquakes in distant regions so aid could be deployed. It worked until the death of its inventor, but apparently the device was so complex only Zhang could keep up with its maintenance effectively. Afterwards there was no one with sufficient expertise to maintain it. It just shows how brilliant a scientist and an inventor, as well as a genius, Zhang Heng was.The machine had eight dragons and the dragon that had its mouth opened (when the quake occurred) pointed to the direction of the earthquake!
JUAN i

Vinnie Tan on Oct 17, 2016 at 12:13 pm

I have heard about this invention before. Even saw it on drama series when I was much younger. It is an invention that is really fantastic and no one has figured out the mechanism behind it.

It is just amazing how people are able to think so far and have such great knowledge. It truly shows that the human mind is something that we are not able to judge and measure. We may think that an idea is weird and funky, but when the need arises, we will find it useful and even thank the inventor.

This is just another example of how we should keep our minds open and never let our perception trap us.

Echeah on Oct 17, 2016 at 1:38 am

China has a rich history and culture. Despite having many great thinkers and some inventions such as these, today China has a reputation for being one of the biggest copy-cats in the world, mass-producing copied goods to be sold at some of the cheapest prices. This label is going to be quite difficult to shake off any time soon unfortunatly.

Fong on Oct 17, 2016 at 12:00 am

This invention makes me wonder sometimes how the inventor even thought about it. So many learned men trying to dissect the invention to try and replicate it without success.

I really feel asking a question that the narrators of ‘Ancient Aliens’ would probably have asked – did the inventor had help from other worldly beings or aliens? If something that is seemingly simple and aesthetically pleasing worked so well, according to historical records, is simply amazing.

Wonder if Erich Von Daniken has seen this item? Could some divine being wishing to help humans given help?

My imagination is going crazy. Thank you, Rinpoche for sharing this thought provoking article.

Paul Yap on Oct 16, 2016 at 9:48 pm

Ancient China is full of talents and great people, with the rich culture and long history of the chinese people, many great inventions, arts etc were born. It’s unfortunate that many of these inventions were destroyed during the cultural revolution, this includes the lost of religion and believes. China used to be one of the largest and most advanced country in Buddhism. With the hope of the current Chinese government which seems to be more open minded, Buddhism will once again reestablished itself in China. This will benefit the people and their government very much.

Pastor KH Ng on Oct 16, 2016 at 5:42 pm

An invention way ahead of its times.

Underlying the invention while remarkable in itself; what is more remarkable to me is the understanding of the concept of earthquake and how it happens; at a time when most of the world still thought the earth flat.
This ancient Chinese Earthquake Detector works by combining knowledge in seismology, mathematics and complex mechanics and engineering. Now that is truly the source of my admiration.

JP on Oct 15, 2016 at 10:39 pm

This is the first time I hear of an ancient Chinese earthquake detector. It’s not surprising that China has so many innovative inventions. China has been one of the most advanced and powerful nations throughout history. The people were progressive and talents from all fields were encouraged and highly sought after by the Emperors.

The Chinese have a culture of always striving to be the best in whatever they do. Hence, so many outstanding achievements throughout the 5 thousand years of Chinese history.

Having the attitude of determination and excellence, is the key to succeeding in any endeavours we wish to pursue, be it secular or spiritual.

Thank you Rinpoche for the interesting article.

Pastor Patsy on Oct 15, 2016 at 10:09 pm

This is an incredible invention. The process of detecting, recording and measuring seismic shocks has come a long way. Zhang Heng invention is amazingly remarkable and way ahead of its time.

Thank you, Rinpoche, for sharing this informative article.

TekLee on Oct 15, 2016 at 12:33 am

Wow! All the while China history is fascinating. Be it the history of all the dynasties, the history of the emperors, the story of the great being during that era, the story of the great buildings and inventions, are all very interesting to read. From reading their history, we can learn something out of it.
Thank you Rinpoche for sharing, this is indeed an eye opener. I can imagine, by the technology they had then, they could still have such a great invention. I know ancient China invented clock, compass, woodblock printing, paper, etc….. But this invention really extremely awesome and fascinating. I really have great honour to all the ancient inventors who had great mind.
I learn something from this blog post, people during that time had limited resources, limited technology, yet, they could had such outstanding and fascinating outcome. People now have almost everything, yet, that cause us to be lazy, think less, and give many excuses. Thank you again Rinpoche for sharing this. We should always remind ourselves, how grateful we are to be born in human form in this era. Make full use of the technology and resource we have now, although we don’t need to invent anything now, but can use it on something else. In my case. Dharma. Thank you Rinpoche, with folded hands _/\_

Lai on Oct 14, 2016 at 11:12 pm

Thanks Rinpoche for sharing this interesting story. after reading the post, i do some search and found this video about the replica of zhang’s seismoscope, hope to share it here: https://youtu.be/GcVFuIccf5c

    Choong on Oct 27, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Thank you Lai,
    That is very interesting.

sweekeong on Oct 14, 2016 at 10:31 pm

I heard about this wondrous machine, I was kid back then, that could detect earthquake and its direction from a far distance. I was wondering why it doesn’t use in modern day China. Could the machine had been broken?

It is interesting that we are attempting to replicate its function using our modern understanding. Zhang is definitely ahead of his time but I wonder why the creator don’t duplicate the original and pass down from to his disciples. Is it because it is a secret art and they don’t want the knowhow fall into enemies hand?

May Ong on Oct 14, 2016 at 12:01 pm

The ancient Chinese had a long history of intelligence in inventions that were beyond the imagination of the era then. Zhang Heng, from the Han dynasty, a Chinese astronomer, calendar and mathematician also known as Chang Heng invented the seismograph or an instrument to measure earthquake and named it an “earthquake weathercock.” But what prompted him to make this invention and yet did not leave much of the workings and information of this marvelous machine to future generations to use or perhaps it was lost during political turmoil.

Justin Cheah on Oct 14, 2016 at 2:27 am

This is a remarkable invention. Given the era of the invention took place, science in those days are really out of the world or shall i say looked like it is ahead of time.

Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article. It really opened my eyes. Not only the invention of eaeth quake detector but also the invention of pi calculations. There are certainly many more things that is unthinkable happened in this world. Shows us that the world is unpredictable.

Wah Ying on Oct 14, 2016 at 1:40 am

这个先进和预测相当准确的地震测量仪器竟然如此早即被发明和使用。我们都相信,人类的智慧、科学发明的目的是为了方便人类的生活,为了改善生活环境等,如此依赖,任何创造和发明才充分发挥其利益众生的目的。

类似的地震仪器透过预测即能发挥救人,减少财物和环境被破坏的作用,的确是很多方面利益很多人的伟大发明--虽然这个仪器的原型已经失落。

Yoke Chim Yap on Oct 14, 2016 at 12:00 am

多谢上师与我们分亨 #張衡 这位偉大的天文学家,他不但精通天文地理,还有数学,文学兼發明.名例「汉赋四大家」之.一 。也是一名清官。只可惜他对天文地理的贡獻没有傳人,也漸渐被后人所遗忘.
他真是無所不能.最早發明了「地动仪,指南車,浑天仪等等的偉大发明。
我不禁要怀疑他非地球人,应是那位佛菩萨乘愿而来,因他受道家思想影响,主張無为,他相信天上有许多神佛,山林原野都有神灵,星星会影响人的命運,相信占卜,認为宇宙有某种神秘力量,不是所有事物可用理性解釋.发明了对后人非常有用的预测地震仪.真是造福人類!中国自古以来非常多这類奇人異士而流芳百世。

Bradley Kassian on Oct 13, 2016 at 11:51 pm

Something like this does not suprise me regarding the chinese culture. With 5000 years of history they find ways of making things work, and have had a long history of innovation. From the Wheel barrow, to gunpowder, papermaking, the compass, and printing (both woodblock and movable type). In fact, A copy of the Chinese version of Diamond Sūtra, was dated back to May 11, 868. It is, in the words of the British Library, “the earliest complete survival of a dated printed book.

Lew on Oct 13, 2016 at 6:33 pm

I also like this kind of ancient inventions where people can make accurate detectors without the help of computers. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.

I think one of the important point is that some 2000 years ago, people may not even know what is a earthquake, and they probably may think it is some act of god that created the tremor. Therefore, this scientists must have known that it is probably some kind of phenomena which caused the earth to move.

I am glad to see that there is now replica of this ancient device. I hope they can enhance this ancient device with latest technology to make it even better.

Thank you Rinpoche for sharing such interesting article!

    Pastor David Lai on Oct 14, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    I don’t think they need to enhance this device because there already more advanced seismograph and sensors that are much more sensitive these days. Hence, we can know where exactly is the epicenter of any earthquake. In fact, they can pick up faint tremors that I think there is a warning system that tell you ahead of an impending earthquake judging from earlier tremors.

    I think there is really nothing much to learn except for how this ancient device works. Understanding how it works highlights the ingenuity of the ancient Chinese people and this probably goes well for Chinese nationalistic pride but its nonetheless fascinating look ancient Chinese history

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Tsem Tulku Rinpoche

My name is Tsem Rinpoche and I am a Buddhist monk and teacher. I have a wide range of interests just like anyone else. Ever since I was a young child growing up in America, I have had a huge interest in the paranormal. I have always loved this subject. I love all things magical and mysterious – Tibet, Bigfoot, Loch Ness, Findhorn, UFO, Nazca lines, Spirits, Salem, Easter Island, Dowsing, Greek Gods, Hindu Gods, Yogis, Himalayas, Shambala, Aura, Divinations, Delphic Oracles, Tibetan Oracles, Nature Spirits, Pan, Shamans and more.

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Jean Ai

by Tsem Rinpoche | Apr 12, 2012

Thailand is known for their terrifying horror movies and you know what people say...where there is smoke, there is fire so when Jean Ai went to Bangkok to work...

JP Revisited

by Tsem Rinpoche | Feb 21, 2012

Whilst the Chinese have practised ancestral worship for centuries, for most people a visit to the graves of their forefathers stops there. A few offerings and some flowers, and...

David Lai

by Tsem Rinpoche | Feb 13, 2012

Quiet and unassuming, on first appearance David Lai does not come across as a person who has paranormal experiences. As they say however, looks can be deceiving...

JP

by Tsem Rinpoche | Feb 7, 2012

Facing college life in a new city, JP Thong had no idea what awaited him when he moved thousands of miles away from home to New York, where he...

Till I See Blood

by Tsem Rinpoche | Feb 2, 2012

After sleepless nights in Bangkok, Angel finally fell asleep, only to find herself struggling for her breath as she was rudely awakened by an unseen stranger. Feeling pressed down...

CJ

by Tsem Rinpoche | Jan 18, 2012

Many of us have heard that some people have the ability to see the dead and many of us have heard of the movie 'The Sixth Sense'. For 16...

Edward

by Tsem Rinpoche | Jan 10, 2012

There are many children around the world who tell their parents that they see dark figures. Most of the time, their parents would brush them off and tell them...

Snake Spirit

by Tsem Rinpoche | Dec 13, 2011

This week, I share with you a story that relates to the time when I was residing in southern Thailand. I stayed there for about a month to do...

Burmese Temple & Floating Heads

by Tsem Rinpoche | Nov 17, 2011

In this episode, we have exclusive rights to film at one of the most exotic locations in Malaysia at night: The Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple. Founded on 1st August...

Red Face

by Tsem Rinpoche | Nov 1, 2011

This week, I share with all of you 2 paranormal stories. The first relates to the filming location: Shih Chung Branch School. Around 1885, the very first 5-storey bungalow in Penang...

Banging Pots

by Tsem Rinpoche | Oct 17, 2011

It was quite a busy period, thinking back to 15 years in Singapore, as a lot of people would come to see me for discussions… usually, these were relating...

The Hand

by Tsem Rinpoche | Oct 11, 2011

In early 90s, I shared a room with a monk in a house in Gadoh. At night, I would do my studies or do my readings usually while sitting...

Legends of Mount Shasta

by Pastor David Lai | Sep 1, 2016

In the language of the Karuk natives, Mt Shasta is known as Úytaahkoo or ‘White Mountain’. It is an active volcano located at the southern tip of the Cascade...

They are Everywhere

by Tsem Rinpoche | Nov 14, 2011

Whether we believe in aliens or not, it is undeniable that the thought of other beings existing in places unknown to mankind yet is interesting...

Foreign Visitor in the Amazon!!

by Tsem Rinpoche | Nov 14, 2011

Alien enthusiasts are always eager to find the latest alien discovery or encounters. Over the years, hundreds of media releases turn out to be hoaxes… It’s difficult to figure...

Spotted in a Sandstorm

by Tsem Rinpoche | Jul 21, 2011

I received an interesting email from Philip Yong, which shows some live CNN footage of a sandstorm also known as a “Haboob”. What’s interesting to note about this live...

A HUGE Collection of UFO Photographs from 1870 to 2011

by Tsem Rinpoche | Jul 3, 2011

  I was sent an email with a link to one of the most interesting websites on UFOs: UFOCasebook.com! This website contains A LOT of information in the form...

Top 10 Space Mysteries

by Tsem Rinpoche | Mar 9, 2011

In something as big as the universe, there are bound to be unexplainable phenomena... and things we truly can’t grasp. The universe shows us how small we really are...

Astronauts & Military Men Speak

by Tsem Rinpoche | Feb 16, 2011

There are 2 videos below that are of UFOs. These are probably 2 of the most convincing videos on UFOs so far. This is mostly because the presenters are...

They’re Sighted Everywhere

by Tsem Rinpoche | Jan 31, 2011

This YouTube video was forwarded to me by Shirley Tan. It is of a UFO sighting on the 18th of January in Moscow, Russia. The video was taken from...

Second UFO sighting baffles China & Malaysia

by Tsem Rinpoche | Sep 24, 2010

Another unidentified flying object (UFO) has been spotted hovering over a part in southwestern China’s Chongqing province after a similar sighting last week caused massive flight delays at a...

More UFO videos from China!!! Very Convincing!!!

by Tsem Rinpoche | Jul 29, 2010

You have to watch these neat videos. They are very convincing. I copy and pasted the information below just so you have more to go on and understand. Enjoy...

Unsolved Mysteries – UFO’s & Me…

by Tsem Rinpoche | Jun 14, 2010

Since I was very young, I was naturally drawn to phenomena that was not accepted by ‘mainstream’ public. That didn’t bother me. I was always the type of person...

Reincarnation Videos YOU MUST WATCH!

by Tsem Rinpoche | Apr 24, 2015

(28 Nov 2012) Dear friends, I wanted to share this videos with you for the longest time and happy I can do so now. Learn, ponder and enjoy. Reincarnation...

Pastor Chia on Wah Lai Toi!

by Tsem Rinpoche | Dec 29, 2012

Pastor Chia, a long time student of mine appeared on TV recently. He was interviewed by a Paranormal Program on Astro Wah Lai Toi. It is so exciting to...

Inhuman Entity caught on film

by Tsem Rinpoche | Aug 30, 2012

See this episode. It is very good. Very interesting! Look at 5:01 and see an inhuman entity caught on film. Very interesting how these beings can be caught on...

Bigfoot Proven?? Must Watch!!!

by Tsem Rinpoche | May 22, 2012

American Paranormal is a one year old series on the National Geographic channel. They kicked-off their new series in 2010 with a documentary on Bigfoot!! This documentary uses thorough...

The Mysterious Monsters – narrated by Peter Graves

by Tsem Rinpoche | May 22, 2012

Dear Everyone, Another favorite video of mine narrated by Peter Graves. He does a good job as he seems convinced in what he is narrating. I wish I can...

Foreign Visitor in the Amazon!!

by Tsem Rinpoche | Nov 14, 2011

Alien enthusiasts are always eager to find the latest alien discovery or encounters. Over the years, hundreds of media releases turn out to be hoaxes… It’s difficult to figure...

Ancient Aliens – Season 1 to Season 3

by Tsem Rinpoche | Sep 16, 2011

Ancient Aliens is a series that launched their first episode on 20 April 2010. The series proposes various evidence around the theory that sometime within the existence of human civilization,...

League of Gentlemen visit ‘haunted’ Gloucestershire pub

by Tsem Rinpoche | Jul 21, 2011

Below is an article that my student, Shirley Tan, sent me. It is about a popular group of British comedians who decided to brave potential scares in a haunted...

Who are the Freemasons?

by Tsem Rinpoche | Jul 3, 2011

The Freemasons are known to be very secretive and according to some people, almost cult-like. Cult is a very subjective word of course. Although I do not know much....

Are angels ancient aliens??

by Tsem Rinpoche | Jul 3, 2011

Many of us believe in angels. 70% of Americans, believe in the existence of angels… 55% of Americans believe in guardian angels. It is said that every day, one...

Ancient Aliens: The Return

by Tsem Rinpoche | Jul 3, 2011

“The Return” is the last episode of Season 1 of the Ancient Aliens series. In the 20th century there was evidence that we were still being visited by alien...

Ancient Aliens: The Mission (episode 4)

by Tsem Rinpoche | Jul 3, 2011

If we can make expeditions in search of resources to sustain our culture, wouldn't any other life form who needs resources to survive do the exact same thing by...

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