The History Of The Real-Life Death Ray

By | September 6, 2019

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Death rays are a common trope in science fiction works, but could they be real? Source: (

In science-fiction, death rays are defined as weapons that shoot beams of energy to conveniently kill the enemy without bullets or bombs. Because of this, death rays are a staple in sci-fi novels, comic books, and movies, but are death rays real? At least a few people have attempted to create a real-life death ray. Here is what we know about them.

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In ancient Greece, Archimedes was said to have made a death ray that ignited the Roman boats. Source: (

Archimedes and His Death Ray

Archimedes was a Greek inventor, mathematician, scholar, engineer, scientist, and astronomer who lived from 287 to 212 BC. During his lifetime, his homeland of Syracuse was constantly besieged by Roman invaders. That was probably why, according to written evidence from the second-century author Lucian, Archimedes created a death ray that collected and focused the Sun's energies into a single beam of heat. Aimed at the Roman ships anchored in the harbor, the Archimedes death ray could incinerate the wooden vessels and prevented the Roman navy from taking the city. In recent years, many people—including the guys on Mythbusters and students at MIT—have tried to recreate Archimedes 's death ray with only a hint of success.