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We all know about the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. But how was it termed to be great? It’s because of his huge dimensions and beautiful and planned construction. How is the height of such huge constructions measured? Who was the mastermind behind formulating such measurement?

Thales was the man behind such wonderful invention of geometry. The height and distance was calculated by him through geometry.He waited till that time of the day when his own shadow was the same height that he was, and then he measured the shadow of the pyramid. Thales proved that

  • A circle is bisected by its diameter,
  • The angles at the bases of any isosceles triangle are equal
  • If two straight lines cut one another, the opposite angles are equal.
  • If two triangles have two angles and a side in common, the triangles are identical.
  • Any angle inscribed in a semicircle is a right angle. This is known as Thales theorem.

Thales was born in Turkey (as called now) in the city of Miletus, about 624 BC. It is called Archaic period. The actual dates of his birth and death are unknown.  His parents were Examyes and Cleobuline and they belonged to the royal Phoenicia family. Thales’ family had links with the Phoenician prince Cadmus. He travelled all over when he was young and he was passionate to study all the time. So he may have studied with Egyptian or Babylonian Scientists. Also we came across some interesting stories about him that Thales got married and had a son named Cybisthus or Cybisthon. Another story says that Thales never married saying his mother that it was too early to marry when he was and later that it was too late in his later years. Some even say that Thales disliked the idea of having to be anxious about children but after many years, he was rather keen to have a family and so adopted his nephew with the name Cybisthus or Cybisthon. Thales kept himself occupied in several activities, enrolling an innovator’s role. But no writings of him have been survived.

Thales was the first scientist to propose explanations of natural phenomena without using mythology. He thought that things like weather, starts and planets were actually scientific explanations which we used to think they were controlled by gods. He also assumed water was the basis for survival of all living things and also everything was made of water. He was proved to be correct for conclusion about survival. Thales was right that everything is made out of similar things, but those things are proved to be electrons and protons and not water.

He also concluded earth was round and the moon glows by light reflecting from the Sun. Also he was the first person to predict an eclipse of the Sun. Some prehistoric writers say that Pythagoras in his young age actually visited Thales and Thales was the one who advised Pythagoras to go and study in Egypt. He is said to be extremely influential teacher.

He was also interested in business and politics. He introduced the principle of options trading. It is said that Thales gave proposal to build an Ionian state. It is said to be located at Teos which is in the center of Ionia.

Thales is believed to have died in around 546BC and the cause of death is still unknown. Thales was termed to be one of the seven wise men of Greece.

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