Before the world of copied products, China actually invented a lot of things. There are many Chinese inventions that some of us don’t even realize are from China. This ancient country is among some old countries that have roamed the world back in the early days. Back then, China had invented many things both for entertainment and education and more which we can see today. If you are looking for useful Chinese inventions that we still use today, take a look at the list below.
No one would expect that needles could relieve pain until they found acupuncture. It is one of the oldest methods of Traditional Chinese Medicine that Chinese people used for thousands of years. The oldest archaeological evidence of agriculture is gold and silver needles found in the tomb of Liu Sheng. About 100 BC, people used acupuncture to relieve pain which was good for general health or even to cure diseases.
An acupuncturist will place fine noodles into specific points in a person’s body to balance their Yin and Yang. Some people believed that illness was caused by a disharmony of the Yin and Yang within your body. When the Yin and Yang are not harmonious, they obstruct the qi in your body which causes you to sick. With acupuncture, the Yin and Yang will be in harmony again which leads to a healthy state of the person.
For about 9000 years, the Chinese have been enjoying the bitter taste of alcohol in all ranks and classes. Archaeologists found shards of pottery that Chinese people used thousands of years ago for alcohol. Brewers back then used rice, fruit, and honey to make the alcohol, all-natural ingredients. The thing is that drinking alcohol was not only for fun but also for spiritual purposes.
The Zhou saw alcohol as being incredibly important and they believed that they had even lost the mandates of heaven. That was because of the drunkenness of their emperors back then, but they changed their concept eventually. After that, it was decided that heaven wanted them to drink alcohol in moderation. We also enjoy the taste of alcohol nowadays, and turns out it is not that bad after all.
The first compass appeared in China 2000 years ago, and Chinese sailors used navigational compasses on most of their ships. Compass is one of the most signification Chinese inventions in navigation, but it was originally not for traveling purposes at all. However, this one had the most impact on sailing and traveling among all Chinese inventions. Lodestone was the material that people used to make compasses because it was a naturally magnetized ore of iron.
Taoists and fortune tellers made good use of the compass for spiritual purposes during that time. The first compass had two parts: a spoon and a tablet, and lodestone was the material for the stone. That was to make sure that it balances perfectly on the tablet that was made from bronze. The tablet had many Chinese characters written onto it, and that was why it was helpful for fortune telling.
It was an unexpected accident when Taoist alchemists were attempting to create the elixir of life. While mixing elemental sulfur, charcoal, and saltpeter, they ended up creating gunpowder instead. Since then, gunpowder has played a significant and devastating role in many parts of the world. More scientists began to use it to create weapons like guns, cannons, and rockets.
In the beginning, gunpowder started off as a method to scare off attackers during battles. The more they used it, the more effective the gunpowder showed its ability and potential. Later, people used gunpowder to create mines as well as other explosives that we can see nowadays. It is also useful since it helps a lot in mining, quarrying, and road building.
The invention of gunpowder also led to another awesome invention, fireworks. The Chinese began using gunpowder for fireworks, and they have developed the fireworks from time to time. Both helpful and dangerous, gunpowder is still among the best Chinese inventions that the country has shared with the world.
The oldest surviving record of noodles is a book from the Eastern Han Dynasty, and it was when people began eating noodles. People ate so regularly that it became one of the most common food in China back then. There is some evidence to show that noodles have been in China for over 4,000 years with interesting origins. The origins of noodle had been there for a long time, and it was from China.
Italy claimed to be the original inventor of noodles, but China was actually the true inventor. Archaeologists found a 4,000 years old bowl of noodles in China which was one surprising discovery. Inside the bowl were well-preserved golden noodles inside an upside-down and sealed bowl under 10 feet of sediment.
It is common knowledge that many people know where paper comes from, China obviously. The invention of paper dated back to the Western Han dynasty from 202 BC to 9 AD. The credit goes to Cai Lun who was an official of the Han court who invented paper. He created a sheet of paper using bast fibers, fishnets, hemp, and old rags, yes all of that together.
By the 3rd century, people widely used paper for writing and it became toilet paper in the 6th century. During the 8th century, China’s paper began to spread to the Islamic world where pulp mills and papers were in service. Paper then reached Europe in the 11th century, and it kept on developing till what we have nowadays.
China kept on innovating with how they used paper such as tea bags to preserve the flavor of the tea. Then the Song dynasty was the first government to print paper money which makes it one of the best Chinese inventions. Back then, the government would issue paper exchange bills that people could trade for coins in other cities.
There were many Chinese inventions during the Han dynasty, and porcelain was one of them. The first porcelain was made in the Zhejiang province, most were on dishes, glasses, vases, etc. During the Sui and Tang dynasties, people created a diverse range of ceramics that we can see nowadays. Then a foreigner had seen porcelain for the first time in 852 AD, and he was an Arab traveler.
Suleiman was his name, and he wrote “They have in China a very fine clay which they make vases. The clay is as transparent as glass, and water is seen through them.” During the Tang dynasty, Chinese porcelain began to export to the Islamic world and became incredibly popular there.
The Chinese also invented the first seismograph, and the inventor was a famous scientist named Zhang Heng. Seismograph is a device that detects the ground’s movement during an earthquake, and it was one of the best Chinese inventions. In the center of the seismograph was a large copper urn surrounded by 8 dragons. When an earthquake happened, one of the dragons’ mouths would open its mouth and a ball would fall out.
The ball then would fall into the mouth of a copper toad below which made a loud noise. This noise then alerted people that there was an earthquake, and those 8 dragons were there for a reason. Each dragon represented each direction including north, east, south, west, northeast, southeast, northwest, and southwest. Then they would be able to tell in which direction the earthquake would occur.
As in 132 AD, this was one impressive invention that not everyone could think of or even now. No doubt why the seismograph is among the best Chinese inventions that we can see today.
According to a Chinese legend, a man named Shennong discovered tea in 2,737 BC but it was not popular. Then tea became one of the popular beverages in the Tang dynasty which lasted from 618 to 907 BC. The oldest living tree is still growing in Lin Cang, China with the age of over 3,300 years old.
People used tea as a medicinal drink back then but it became popular for its taste as time went by. We are not sure exactly when was the invention of tea in China, but people began to drink it in around the 10th century BC. Famous philosopher Lao Tzu described tea as the froth of the liquid jade. He also believed that it was one of the ingredients that people need to make the elixir of life.
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