The year is 2014. Where is the future we were promised? Where are our jet packs and flying cats? According to these 16th century German illustrations, it appears that we’ve been pining for jet packs far longer than we ever imagined. All the way back in the 1530s people were daydreaming about birds and cats zooming through the air.
Okay fine, not really. These centuries-old illustrations actually depict a German artillery master’s harebrained scheme for using animals as ballistic explosives (click here to learn more). However Mitch Fraas, the University of Pennsylvania Libraries researcher who compiled these images, doesn’t think anyone ever actually tried to implement this bizarre military tactic.
Sinister history aside, we enjoy these illustrations a lot more if we think of them as renaissance kitties whizzing about in pursuit of mice and bowls of cream.
[via Live Science and Unique at Penn]