If you spend enough time around innovators, you will often hear them speak about wanting to find their “Eureka Moment”.
Even though the eureka moment for business ideas is primarily a myth, the romance of the perfect idea is often attributed to the ancient Greek scientist Archimedes.
The story goes that he noticed how the level of water in his bathtub would rise, and he could use this to calculate the volume of a gold crown, a challenge set him by a king.
Euphoric about his idea, he ran across town, still nude, shouting “Eureka”.
However, as this TED video shows us, the origin of the story may in fact be about something completely different.
According to historical records, In the third century BC, Hieron, king of the Sicilian city of Syracuse, set Archimedes the challenge of supervising the construction of a warship 50 times larger than other ships of the time.
This ship was to be the size of a palace, and nobody at the time knew if such as large object could even float.
Archimedes was tasked with figuring out whether this engineering project would succeed or not, and so needed to find out whether the mass of the ships hull would displace enough mass of water to float or not.
At the core of the ship’s construction is a keel, which is korone in Greek.
The myth of the golden crown on the other hand is about a crown, or corona, in latin. [Side note: The coronavirus has that name because the spike proteins which give the virus its outline shape resemble the points of a crown].
Some researchers think that this may have resulted in a mixup throughout history, where the story of the ship was mistaken with a crown.
So while we may never know the true origin of the Eureka Moment, let us not forget the years of effort and learning which Archimedes put in beforehand which enabled him to have the idea in the first place.
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