The video is funny. The collaboration is hilarious.

Did the Icelandic Norse use firearms long before the rest of medieval Europe? Evidence says … yes?


Spoiler alert: All known historical fact (and common sense) says “No. Don’t be silly.”

Ian presents the possibility in all straight-faced seriousness, and he didn’t actually lose me until his disclosure that saltpeter comes from fermented sharks*.

On my first viewing of the video – which naturally took place on April 1 – I failed to notice his reference to another, collaborative video. And this one – presented in the most hackneyed TV documentary style imaginable – is hilarious…

And then today they released a rather long joint video where they discuss the origins and all the easter eggs in their April Fools joke.

I especially enjoy Ian’s description of his interview with a (genuine) Icelandic expert on Viking weapons. In the first clip the expert seriously answers Ian’s serious question about how Icelandic settlers acquired iron. The answer is in Icelandic, with subtitles that are apparently accurate to what he actually said. The second clip has Ian asking if it would have been plausible for Vikings to have invented and used handgonnes. The subtitled answer praises Ian for having made such a brilliant original deduction based on evidence available to historians all along. What the expert is actually saying is apparently “No, no, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” 🙂

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*It does not.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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One Response to The video is funny. The collaboration is hilarious.

  1. Tennessee Budd says:

    I was sure it was an April Fool’s prank, and when I heard of Frederick (or whomever) Four-Fingers, I was certain.

To the stake with the heretic!