Garlic and the Magnetic Compass

By W. E. May, published August 1979


Do garlic, onions and tallow affect the accuracy of a magnetic compass? May seeks to unravel the mystery which was believed to have adversely affected ship handling since at least Antiquity. Quoting from sources as early as Pliny and as late as the September 1976 issue of the New Scientist, he provides evidence both for and against the proposition. He does not give a definitive answer, as maybe he believes that our advanced society knows the truth relative to garlic and the magnetic compass.

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Filed under: Antiquity
Subjects include: Ship Handling & Seamanship

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