What is a compass used for?


Quick Answer

A compass is a navigational tool that marks direction according to the earth's rotation cycle or its magnetic field. Compasses can be used for plotting and tracking journeys of predetermined direction on land or at sea.

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Full Answer

Primitive compasses were first used by the Chinese circa the 4th century B.C. as a way of navigating their path and harmonizing their environment. The creation of these instruments was based on the ancient practice of feng shui with the purpose of coordinating free-flowing environmental energy. The Chinese used a board with a spoon. The ladle of the spoon was the needle, or pointer, and it always pointed south.

A modern-day compass uses a magnetized needle that serves as a pointer for determining direction. The needle of a modern-day compass always points north to align itself with the magnetic north of the Earth.

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