Thursday, August 07, 2008

10 Mindblowing Things You Didn’t Know About Oil

Greek Fire, from the Skylitzes manuscript

Humans have been using petroleum products for a long time. Asphalt was used in ancient Babylon as mortar for buildings and for waterproofing ships. Tar was first used in 8th century Baghdad to pave roads. Crude forms of kerosene was used to light lamps.

During the reign of the Byzantine Empire, greek fire - an incendiary weapon which exact formula was long lost to history but thought to contain various petroleum products - was a formidable weapon because pouring water on it only intensified its flame.

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