The longitude problem: history's deadliest riddle

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Written, presented and edited by
JAY FOREMAN jayforeman
MARK COOPER-JONES markcooperjones

AD, Camera, Props and Costumes
JADE NAGI jade_nagi

Baby John Harrison

Bassa Island Game Loop - Latinesque by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.




  • I even stay for the ads

    Matt & AmalMatt & AmalUur geleden
  • Oh my goodness, laughed so hard at this. And learned a lot. So, awesome.

    famousblueraincoatsfamousblueraincoats11 uur geleden
  • I see in the background another map without N.Z

    RobertRobertDag geleden
  • "But for navigating semen/seamen" annnd I choked on my coffee....

    ShallibodhranShallibodhranDag geleden

    Onions OpinionsOnions OpinionsDag geleden
  • I was pretty sure that the longitude problem was solved hundreds of years before the late 18th century. After all, the Europeans had been reliably sailing all over the worlds since about 1500.

    Victor FinbergVictor FinbergDag geleden
  • What is the song that plays at 2:05? I swear I recognize it, but I can't remember the name and it isn't the Bassa Island song linked in the description.

    HanselHanselDag geleden
  • Dava's book is good, you read.

    liquidsonlyliquidsonly2 dagen geleden
  • For map men u used the wrong map of Pakistan

    Ismail AzeemIsmail Azeem2 dagen geleden
  • @4:00 sounds accurate.

  • 0:58 Yeah, I agree. Mark is a big problem.

    Nasyith RahmanNasyith Rahman2 dagen geleden
  • 6:00 there's an italian comical character that relies only on banging his balls, Tafazzi. Amazing

    Luca BrandalesiLuca Brandalesi3 dagen geleden
  • 6:40 Sorry. That's appreciated.

    Rohan SrinivasanRohan Srinivasan3 dagen geleden
  • With inflation, the prize would be £4,911,511.01 today, according to the Bank of Enlgand inflation calculator.

    YordsterYordster4 dagen geleden
  • Turns out £20,000 + inflation is about £4,000,000, so a pretty decent sum

    ____4 dagen geleden
  • That there was a guy who came to say that they were off course and that Shovell hanged him seems to be just a myth.

    Paul SophocleousPaul Sophocleous4 dagen geleden
  • Haitch 1?

    YourLocalGPYourLocalGP4 dagen geleden
  • Already new this story, but wanted to hear the commentary.

    一三Gnefitisis一三Gnefitisis4 dagen geleden
  • I remember when Blue Peter told this story! It wasn't nearly as funny!

    Henrys AdventuresHenrys Adventures5 dagen geleden
  • This was the most hilarious one so far.

    a far out super hip swinging swing drum soloa far out super hip swinging swing drum solo5 dagen geleden
  • I always wanted Monty Python to make a movie that starts out on the Scilly Islands. From there they go to Peru to meet the Dalai Llama!

    txvoltairetxvoltaire5 dagen geleden
  • I'm a bit confused? It isn't hard to find on the wikipedia page for the Scilly naval disaster that the idea that a seaman aboard the ship was keeping how navigational records and was hanged for disagreeing with Shovell is plained refered to as a myth: "Another myth associated with the disaster alleges that a common sailor on the flagship tried to warn Shovell that the fleet was off course but the Admiral had him hanged at the yardarm for inciting mutiny. The story first appeared in the Scilly Isles in 1780, with the common sailor being a Scilly native who recognised the waters as being close to home but was punished for warning the Admiral. It was claimed that grass will never grow on the grave where Shovell was first buried at Porthellick Cove because of his tyrannical act against an islander. The myth was embellished in the 19th century when the punishment became instant execution and the sailor's knowledge of the fleet's position was attributed to superior navigational skills instead of local knowledge."

    King CriticalKing Critical5 dagen geleden
  • all i knew about time was that somewhere in florida was 12 hours off of chua chu kang's time

    LucasPlayz 846LucasPlayz 8465 dagen geleden
  • ooh, can I have a go on your hammer? *bang*bang*bang*bang*bang*bang*bang*bang

    CharlieRCCharlieRC5 dagen geleden
  • Navy sailor here: On the plus side, with digital engine readouts for speed and digital (read: inertial) compasses, dead reckoning is WAY more accurate than when this was done with a knotted rope and a shoddy magnetic compass. Navigating on an ever shifting seemingly-infinite flat-on-a-good-day featureless non-euclidean plane is always going to be a problem, complicated by drift but if GPS fails, we can still get a rough sense of where we are. This is something we had to practice, like kinda all the time. They'd make us compare our dead reckoning track on the chart with the quartermaster's astronomically-ascertained position every half hour and I could typically get us within a few miles.

    Sophia-Helene Mees de TrichtSophia-Helene Mees de Tricht5 dagen geleden
  • Actually it seems to be just a myth that Shovell hanged the sailor for inciting mutiny, and that "such debates were common upon entering the English Channel " see wikipedia

    Ryan LintottRyan Lintott6 dagen geleden
  • "ay, check out ma latest tick tock" lol I'm dying that was so good

    EdgeGamingEdgeGaming6 dagen geleden
  • my favourite bit is the happy baby. 3:47

    H.W. RobotsH.W. Robots6 dagen geleden
  • 2:11 £20,000 in 1714 is about £3,994,609.36 today

    FinniKeyFinniKey6 dagen geleden
  • The inflation on the 20,000 would be around 4 million even if it's an over under and it's over the 3.5 million and closer to the 4 million by a lot.

    Wired WrongWired Wrong6 dagen geleden
  • 3:48 more baby, less talking.

    Louis EmeryLouis Emery6 dagen geleden
  • Well Done , those men .

    Olin BullardOlin Bullard6 dagen geleden
  • It's always nice to hear this story. 67 cm= 26 in. 62 cm= 24 in. 13 cm= 5.1 (or 5 1/8) in. Dudes, come on! You'll use miles but not inches?

    Frank HarrFrank Harr6 dagen geleden
  • What is it "17 miles"? Ah, 27.35885 km, okay.

    Николай НовицкийНиколай Новицкий7 dagen geleden
  • " one of the many years before Christ." xD

    eksiarvamuseksiarvamus7 dagen geleden
  • £20,000 + inflation for 1714 to 2020 is £3,994,609.36

    LP JonesLP Jones7 dagen geleden
  • I guess you could say Harrison suffered from a case of … toxic Maskelyn-ity

    Jared GastonJared Gaston8 dagen geleden
  • Pure fluff and unnecessary BS! I was looking for facts and details. Not to be found here.

    Richard KuberskiRichard Kuberski8 dagen geleden

    Aleksandra LobodziecAleksandra Lobodziec9 dagen geleden
    • I'm glad map men is doing so well, it's genuinely one of the best youtube series ever.

      Timothy MenardTimothy Menard8 dagen geleden
  • Hands up who knew about John Harrison already from the original Only Fools and Horses finale

    BoostBoost9 dagen geleden
  • I think Matthew Flinders Chronometer, from his 1803 circumnavigation of Australia, is still in Sydney at the NSW State Library, but not sure as I couldn't see it online.

    Richard GeeringRichard Geering9 dagen geleden
  • "... Apart from not changing his name" LOL 😂😂😂

    Cairo SunCairo Sun9 dagen geleden
  • Did someone did the math ? 20k how much is that ?

    Pedro AugustoPedro Augusto10 dagen geleden
  • now make a video about the mercator globes :D

    Apollo MarsApollo Mars11 dagen geleden
  • I swear you had 993k subs yesterday, your channel is growing pretty fast now

    pokoyopokoyo11 dagen geleden
  • Almost at a million! Congratulations in advance 🎉!

    Stein GamingStein Gaming12 dagen geleden
  • When will you do another stereo episode?

    Shibani SenShibani Sen12 dagen geleden
  • You shouldve put on the even louder and more bitrated black and white test card! 😎

    NeonPRODNeonPROD13 dagen geleden
  • How was the flight?

    AMiGManAMiGMan14 dagen geleden
  • 0:58 Subtle roast on Mark there Jay

    marcoscolga24marcoscolga2414 dagen geleden
  • Ed Petrie was on Map Men? Lol

    DavenTubeDavenTube15 dagen geleden
  • Another product of slavery. All those Brits getting rich buying slaves in Africa, transporting them to the America's and selling them there, and then trading and transporting the products those slaves made such as tobacco, cotton,sugar, and rum. And thus that merchant fleet required a navy to protect them, didn't they. And all those ships needed a better navigation system. A system that covered the globe so that the Empire could spread . The slave traders then drew the Prime Meridian through Greenwich z(London), to measure not only the earth from there. This also is the place from which time is measured.

    By the NumbersBy the Numbers15 dagen geleden
  • Road to 1mil!

    Tammytime757Tammytime75715 dagen geleden
  • From now on I imagine shovell as a shovel

    northam films inc.northam films inc.16 dagen geleden

    hussain malikhussain malik16 dagen geleden
  • I had to actually stop the video and take 5 minutes to calm myself after that TikTok joke :(

    Luke HaringtonLuke Harington17 dagen geleden
  • Almost 1mill! can't wait your great and I forgot how to speak bye.

    Logical SpaghettiLogical Spaghetti17 dagen geleden
  • I kinda wanna have more map men I already watched everything nothing new

    andrei_rouvinthe2ndandrei_rouvinthe2nd20 dagen geleden
  • Today I learned one more difference between British and American English

    James JohnsonJames Johnson21 dag geleden
  • So you're telling me a dude named Cloudesly Shovell got lost in the fog and then buried his ships on some silly islands? The dudes running the Matrix are just fucking with us now.

    RamadaArtistRamadaArtist21 dag geleden
    • Lol that's kinda ridiculous

      andrei_rouvinthe2ndandrei_rouvinthe2nd20 dagen geleden
  • Nicely explained

    Muqarab AwanMuqarab Awan21 dag geleden
  • You look like that Serbian dude that assassinated Franz Ferdinand

    Scribble 10Scribble 1022 dagen geleden
  • navigating semen XD

    KaiserkaseKaiserkase22 dagen geleden
  • Its been a month i need more Map men in my lifeeeeee

    Thomas MortenThomas Morten23 dagen geleden
  • with inflation the money would roghly be half a million pounds

    Aviation ModeAviation Mode23 dagen geleden
  • I enjoy your videos so much 👍

    LiveYourLifeBeFreeLiveYourLifeBeFree23 dagen geleden
  • Hello Jay, just bought the two albums to download, here's a question: where's the link?

    MiniakMiniak23 dagen geleden
    • Oops, just got it! Thanks!

      MiniakMiniak23 dagen geleden
  • These days you dont need TV, however, these guys need a TV deal. Id say kids cbbc, but maaan im learning from these, eitherway, they need to be on TV.

    Say It how it is!Say It how it is!24 dagen geleden
  • 5:36 Perhaps the most literal and physical form a metaphor could be in

    Joseph HeiskellJoseph Heiskell24 dagen geleden
  • Presume this mentions the Harrison chronometer. First time I heard that term was on 'Only Fools and Horses' although previous to that I had a copy of a book, 'Longitude' by Dava Sobel that I had neglected to read. Still haven't and now I've lost the book. Still am all at sea, it seems.

    Martin CreganMartin Cregan24 dagen geleden
  • So I finally cracked and looked up how much £20000 would be in today's money and I'm now even more surprised that John Harrison waited to turn something in because it would be £4000000 in today's money

    Someone You Don't KnowSomeone You Don't Know24 dagen geleden
  • Do Yorkshiremen say 'Haich'? I thought that was Cockneys.

    bingola45bingola4525 dagen geleden
  • These guys should do ads for the super bowl

    The commenterThe commenter25 dagen geleden
  • There’s no Map Men map of the Moon. I sure would like to know where the chavs park their Burberry spaceship?

    Pagbo ZPagbo Z26 dagen geleden
  • My grandson is 7 and your vids are his favourites.😁

    laberlabanlaberlaban26 dagen geleden
  • Somebody had way too much fun writing the "longitude help" ad and you hid it in three frames or so ...

    UlkomaalainenUlkomaalainen26 dagen geleden
  • “Can I have a go at your hammer” “Bang bang bang bang bang bang” I laughed so hard...

    Amazing_SVPAmazing_SVP28 dagen geleden
  • Map Men (2016; 2019-2020; 2020-2021)

    My Cubber's ChannelMy Cubber's Channel28 dagen geleden
  • Shoutout to my boy sir cloudesley shovell!!!! I think you missed an E in there going by how its normally spelled but with a name like that who gives a hoot

    Who let you in here?!Who let you in here?!28 dagen geleden
  • Is this the watch from only fools and horses?

    Colin RichardsonColin Richardson29 dagen geleden
  • Brilliant script!!

    Erik TempelmanErik TempelmanMaand geleden
  • Googling... how can you double like a NLflow video??

    Huw ThomasHuw ThomasMaand geleden
  • Jay, Surfshark doesn't work on Netflix anymore! You lied!

    We don't eat bears.We don't eat bears.Maand geleden
  • I want a Hedge 3!

    Kurt RichterKurt RichterMaand geleden
  • Where can I play among us

    LulabyeLulabyeMaand geleden
  • if the sailors of then asked how we navigated today we would have describe how we bounce invisible messages off of boxes in space that can be read by our magic crystal books

    Ryland MalcolmRyland MalcolmMaand geleden
  • If you guys are branching out to map related topics you can go completely off topic with noodle history. It can be called Ramen, or Soumen, or tantanmen. Oh the possibilities!

    Pratosaurus RexPratosaurus RexMaand geleden
  • If John Harrison could have held out just four more months, he could helped squash that pesky American revolution that began on July 4 the same year he died, 1776. He was 83, though, so I don't they'd put him in a redcoat's uniform and march him into Boston to shut down the tea party.

    Liquid FlamesLiquid FlamesMaand geleden
  • I reckon (not deadly) that £20,000 in 1714 is equivalent to about £3.9m today. Converting that to American Dollars, that's about $5.4m the queen was giving out to the solver of the problem.

    Liquid FlamesLiquid FlamesMaand geleden
  • The real longitude problem was the longitude of time it took for this dude to be happy with his watch.

    toonbattoonbatMaand geleden
  • I've had Surf Shark ever since you guys told me about it. It works absolutely great!!! Now I'm watching all kinds of British programming that is not available in the US. Love, love, love Surf Shark!

    SteveSteveMaand geleden
  • 20000 Great British Pounds in 1714 is in the region of 5 million pounds today.

    Slivra SaysSlivra SaysMaand geleden
  • Why is the channel called Jay Foreman not Map Men? Is Jay an egomaniac?

    AJAJMaand geleden
    • @Jay Foreman Poor Mark

      AJAJMaand geleden
    • No, it’s cos my channel has lots of other stuff without Mark.

      Jay ForemanJay ForemanMaand geleden
  • all those poor puppies out of the job, such a tragedy.

    RenaighRenaighMaand geleden
  • What is the country that is more triangular, if you dont like that odea maybe the roundest

    Martina🇧🇷Martina🇧🇷Maand geleden
    • Why do i keep mispelling whit this keyboard

      Martina🇧🇷Martina🇧🇷Maand geleden
    • @Jay Foreman oh ueah i forgot

      Martina🇧🇷Martina🇧🇷Maand geleden
    • Roundest = Nauru Triangularest = Brazil. Or Bosnia

      Jay ForemanJay ForemanMaand geleden
  • Loved the King killer reference! A sympathy cat? E'lir level. Kvothe would've used Sygaldry to make a permanent sympathetic link.

    XenocidefulXenocidefulMaand geleden
  •; Unfortunately, the information at 1:35 is wildly inaccurate. There was never a seaman aboard the ship who was hanged! This is a self-referential claim that was popularized by its inclusion in the bestselling book Latitude. Please fix this, Mr. Foreman!

    Sentient ArugulaSentient ArugulaMaand geleden
  • Can you please do an episode about maps with exaggerated elevation??

    shawnmllr86shawnmllr86Maand geleden
  • the TikTok reference at 4:00 is 1 of the most hilarious and genius things I’ve ever seen!

    noah simpsonnoah simpsonMaand geleden
  • 2:12 around 2 million pounds

    Biscuit TinBiscuit TinMaand geleden