83 - A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms

image-utopia-pb-no49large.jpg

\n

Gulliver’s Travels (1726) is a satire of contemporary England dressed up as a faux traveller’s tale by Jonathan Swift, narrating in the first person the voyages of one Lemuel Gulliver. The book, divided in four parts, tells of Gulliver’s shipwreck on Lilliput (which is inhabited by people no more than 15 cm tall), abandonment in Brobdingnag (where giants of 22 metres tall live), rescue by the flying island of Laputa, trip to Balnibarbi (where science is pursued without practical ends) and finally his voyage to the country of the Houyhnhnms.


\n

These Houyhnhnms are horses that rule over Yahoos, who are deformed, debased humans. Gulliver sides with the horses, comes to despise the humans, but in the end is expelled. Upon his return to England, Gulliver can no longer stand the company of ‘Yahoos’, and becomes a recluse, preferring the company of his horses.

\n

The island of the Houyhnhnms is apparently situated close to the recently explored continent of Australia (or ‘New Holland’, as it was then known), evidenced by the many Dutch names on the mainland visible on this map, e.g. Nuyts Land, Maelsuyker Island, De Wits Island.

\n

This map found on this page at the British Library.

\n

Scientists claim the Bible is written in code that predicts future events

The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.

Michael Drosnin
Surprising Science
  • Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
  • The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
  • Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
Keep reading Show less

Juice is terrible for children. Why do we keep giving it to them?

A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.

Pixabay user Stocksnap
popular

Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you. 

Keep reading Show less

Orangutans exhibit awareness of the past

Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club

(Eugene Sim/Shutterstock)
Surprising Science
  • Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
  • It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
  • This ability may come from a common ancestor
Keep reading Show less