"For as long as the world shall endure, the honor and the glory of Mexico-Tenochtitlan must never be forgotten."

~ Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin



Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Mexica (Aztec) version of the bulletproof vest

Alright fam, so you've probably heard of Kevlar, a high-strength material used in bulletproof vests. It was invented by Europeans of course... without a doubt. However, here's a fun fact. Did you know that the Aztecs actually came up with bulletproof vests too? This was completely by mistake. Here's a picture I stole from Mexicolore, which is a really cool website that you should go on. I think I might add that to my link list. 

As you can see, it's basically thick cotton padding that was worn by soldiers. The cloth frame would be soaked in salt water to maker it really hard and then "paper-mached" into a thick vest and left in the sun to dry. You'll be surprised how effective this was. It could stop spears thrown by the atlatl and later they found out it could also stop the Spanish musket shots too.

In case you didn't know, the atlatl was basically a device used to make spear throwing more effective and deadly. It wasn't invented by the Aztecs but it was used a lot by them, and the word atlatl comes from the Nahuatl language. It's actually a super old invention from prehistoric times. The Australian aborigines also had their own version of it called a woomera (I may do a post on them soon lol as an off-topic fun post even though they're not native american. They're kinda my second favourite culture now). So yeah, the atlatl/woomera can go like 80 miles per hour xD . That's what the vests were originally meant to stop. But then they found out that they were bULLeT ProOF too! WhOa!

So anyway, the Europeans began to use the same type of technology. They found out that this type of bullet proof vest was also more comfortable than their steel armor. Armor was changed forever. 

You can learn about other epic Aztec innovations in this Ted talk I did: http://youtu.be/1DVWVlkAKuA
Note: copy paste the link into your browser if it doesn't work :P thanks fam. 

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