Whenever I hop on a plane, I try to remember how lucky I am to be alive. I don't mean that in some "counting my blessings for surviving the trip" way either. By a roll of fate's dice, I could've been born in an era without planes. Instead of conveniently rocketing across the country in a matter of hours, I could've been braving the snow-swept expanse of America's midsection on a five-month journey to California that ends prematurely due to a fatal case of diarrhea.
As my plane cleaves through clouds, my mind drifts beyond concerns of passengers from the past to the pilots and navigators of antiquity. Lodging on a giant boat for months couldn't have been fun for travelers, but navigating the ship had to be even worse. How did the past navigators develop the longitude and latitude systems necessary to traverse the oceans accurately?
In the video linked above, the YouTube channel Sci-Show breaks down how clocks led to the discovery of longitude.