Why are many people so drawn to lighthouses? This may probably be due to a number of different reasons. It may be because they are found in the most beautiful and wonderful places on earth, others along the sandy beaches while others on rocks and reefs out in the ocean. Voiceless and elegant, the lighthouses all through New England can invoke charm and solitude. So, what are some of the most interesting facts you didn’t know about lighthouses?
1. The most famous lighthouse to have ever been built was Pharos in Alexandria (Egypt) and was actually recorded as the first seamark with a light. It was built in 285 B.C. and was destroyed by an earthquake in the year 1302. It was regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
2. The height of the lighthouse must take into account how the earth is curved. This means that the higher the light will be above the water, the more it will be seen from a farther distance. However, the light shouldn’t be so high up that sailors won’t notice it. That is the reason why you may see that a shorter lighthouse is built on top of a cliff while a taller lighthouse is close to the of the water.
3. Lighthouses are usually painted differently to help sailors identify them, especially during the day. Let us take, for instance, if the background/surroundings are dark; then a lighthouse can be painted all white. The white and red stripes ensure that the sailors can identify the lighthouse if it is up against a white background, such as rocks or cliffs.
4. Lighthouses which are close to each other flash differently to help the sailors in identifying their location. Nevertheless, lighthouses in located in different areas can share same flash patterns.
5. Presently, lighthouses are mostly run by remote monitoring and machines. The sensors available detect if there is an extra amount moisture in the surrounding air and if there is, the fog signals are turned on. However, when there were no advancements in technology the lighthouses were manned by keepers and were lit with fires, having later developed to lanterns, candles, and electric lights. Boston Lighter is the sole lighthouse that is officially manned by a keeper.
While we may often think of lighthouses as tall cone-shaped towers, they can come in many different colors, sizes, and shapes. Depending on the place the lighthouse has been built, it may be short, squat, or tall. Lighthouses can also be cylindrical, square, conical, octagonal, or even skeletal.