As we traverse the world of modern digital technology from smart phones to artificial intelligence, the game of chess still captivates and challenges people the world over. Chess, it seems, has thrived due to the advancement in connectivity. But 200 years earlier, before this electronic wizardry, there was an automated, mechanical marvel that would transfix the world with its chess-playing prowess. ‘The Turk’, as it would be known, travelled the world for over 80 years, defeating, delighting and mystifying the masses with its spectral talent. The Mechanical Turk quickly became a symbol of technological innovation and sparked the same heated debates we’re having right now about the nature of artificial intelligence, the limits of human ingenuity, and the possibility of constructing a machine capable of replicating human thought. However, behind the Turk’s enigmatic facade lay a secret that would only be revealed decades later, by none other than the master of mystery himself, Edgar Allan Poe. Let’s dive into the unbelievable tale of a remarkable mechanical creation that continues to intrigue to this day…
These horses or "pit ponies" were deprived of experiencing the sunlight and fresh air. Instead, they lived in darkness underground, relying on their instincts and the guidance of their human partners, known as conogons.
These horses were born, worked, and perished in the dark, enduring strenuous labor. It was not uncommon for a single horse to pull up to eight heavy coal wagons alone. Despite their challenging circumstances, these animals maintained their dignity and were aware of their rights, such as refusing to move if they felt burdened with excessive wagons. They also possessed a remarkable sense of time, knowing when their working day should end and finding their way back to the stables even in darkness. This demanding work of horses in the mines continued until 1972 when technology took over, marking the end of an era.
On December 3, 1972, Ruby, the last miner's horse, emerged from the mines in a grand fashion. Accompanied by an orchestra, Ruby, adorned with a flower wreath, was brought out of the darkness, symbolizing the conclusion of the era of mining horses and their connogon partners. To commemorate their shared labor underground, a sculptural composition named "Conogon" was erected within the Museum-Reserve "Red Hill".
The 2,800-year-old Hasanlu Lovers were found in a bin in Iran. The two skeletons buried in ground appear to kiss each other. Other than the gender dispute, historians are not sure why they came to be in the bin - perhaps they were hiding during the final sacking of Hasanlu.
This might be one of the most famous images in photographic history.