The Secret History of the Flying Carpet
In late July an essay appeared in the Australian literary journal Meanjin
written by Azhar Abidi. It was titled 'The Secret History of the Flying Carpet'
. The essay described the discovery of 13th-century Persian scrolls that suggested there was some truth to the old legends of flying carpets. Ancient Persian artisans had apparently discovered a process of boiling fibers in a magnetic clay before weaving them into a carpet. These magnetized fibers then floated above the ground, repelled by the Earth's own magnetism. According to the scrolls, the fledgling flying carpet industry was driven out of existence by horse and camel breeders worried about future competition. This all sounds pretty fantastic, and it obviously is. But nevertheless, Abidi's essay was presented as fact, complete with footnotes, so it shouldn't be any surprise that some people have taken it seriously. According to The Weekend Australian
, "Two Iranian websites have published his essay, prompting internet exchanges on the finer technical points of piloting carpets and how to turn and land them."
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