Brutish, though they may have been, Vikings were also very clever resourceful. In fact, they invented items we still use today. They just never had a chance to go on “Shark Tank.”

viking inventions vikings

Image from Vikings season 1. Now available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Vikings Inventions! Viking Inventions List Still Used Today

Vikings Inventions (Still used today…hopefully!) – THE COMB

The trusty comb has been every stylist’s first tool for creating luscious locks for centuries. You may not believe it, but it was the Vikings who first came up with the concept of this kind of comb-like device. It makes sense too. Think about it. Consider the contemporary stereotype of a male Viking, with long unkempt hair; a major candidate for a grooming object. Interestingly (or…grossly), Vikings often manufactured their combs from the antlers of red deer that were frequently hunted for food. Resourceful. If antlers were in short supply, common bones (hopefully not human, but who really knows…) were used because of their strength and durability. Too bad they didn’t have any conditioner to help them out.

Viking Inventions – HORNED HELMETS

A trick! This is just a myth. It’s true that Vikings wore helmets to protect their heads during battle, but they didn’t contain horns. If you share this common misconception, you have 19th century German operatic composer, Wagner, to thank. In 1876, Wagner’s costume designer came up with the pointy design for all Viking characters in the ‘Ring Cycle’, a show that still attracts die-hard international audiences today. Who would have thought something like that would catch on?

Vikings Inventions still used today – THE MAGNETIC COMPASS

Although the Ancient Greeks take all the credit for ingeniously discovering magnetite, the raw material required to create magnets, the Vikings used natural magnetite deposits in their homeland to make the world’s first magnetic compass. Perhaps this nifty invention is responsible for the Viking’s success in crossing the oceans to conquer foreign lands. Through vicious storms and blinding fog, the magnetic compass kept the Vikings one step ahead of rivals for a significant amount of time. It may have even seemed like witchcraft at the time. Although Apple, amongst other computer whizzes, developed digital compasses, magnetic versions can still be found on the deck of most contemporary sea vessels.

Viking Inventions – SAGAS

While many people and certainly many cultures all enjoy epic tales, you might not know that the Vikings were responsible for the creation of the saga. These stories help to preserve their culture’s history of conquests as well as adventurous tales and pass down lessons from generation to generation.

Enjoy the saga of Vikings Season One is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.