Did Ancient Korea Also Have Advanced Technology?

The Hwacha was an ancient Korean weapon that delivered 150 rocket propelled arrows with the use of gunpowder.

I sometime watch this American show called Mythbusters, but since I don’t live in the U.S., I haven’t been able to watch it regularly.  The premise of the show is that there is a myth, and a team of scientists tests the myth to see if it is true or not.  For example, the Mythbusters were able to determine that mentos (a type of candy) really does create an explosive reaction when mixed with diet coke.  But only a specific flavor of mentos and a specific brand of diet cola.

Well I was flipping around youtube and saw that the Mythbusters actually attempted to bust the myths about the hwacha, an ancient Korean weapon.

Descriptions about the hwacha suggest that it could shoot between 100 and 200 rocket powered arrows over 500 yards and that they would explode on impact.

On the show, they tested all of these myths and found that all of them were true.

However, they obviously used modern rocket fuses when they made it, I doubt the original hwacha worked so well.  Even so, they proved that the capabilities of the hwacha under perfect conditions are at least feasible, making it a devastating weapon that was ahead of its time.  I’ll post the video clip here.



12 Responses to “Did Ancient Korea Also Have Advanced Technology?”

  1. Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s definately amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    But I didn’t see any hwacha in Korean historical dramas. Wasn’t it common?
    If they have had several hwachas, it would have worked very well on a battlefield!

    • Dramas probably don’t use hwchas because I think they need to make a replica of the original hwcha and they have to add effects as well lol Probably too much effort for them to use it lol

      They have this in the computer game called 임진록 lol

    • The Seoul Searcher Says:

      I think it would work against a huge army, but not very well against small raids. It also looks like it would take a long time to shoot.

      • I’ve just seen it once in the movie titled Singijeon! That was my first time to see this kind of hwacha 🙂 I may not pay enough attention to what weapon army used in Korean historic movies and dramas.

  2. Hwach is multi rocket launcher. The arrow’s name is shingijeon. There were three kind of Shingijeon, small-middle-big. The youtube’s one seems like small shingijeon. Big-Shingijeon has 2-3 kilo meters range to attack.

  3. Oh yeah Mythbusters!! I used to watch it too but now I don’t have discovery channel anymore…
    Hwacha seems to be an easy construction but very efficient! I’ve read that it has been invented and perfected in the 15th century during Sejong’s kingdom when also the Hangul have been invented (I wrote an article about it but in italian http://mellybay.blogspot.com/2010/08/alla-scoperta-dello-hangul.html )…
    During the same period also Leonardo Da Vinci invented a lot of military machines. http://www.leonardo3.net/leonardo/machines_eng.htm

  4. […] Did Korea regularly have advanced technology? | The Seoul Searcher […]

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