Horse Latitudes – Doldrums – Why Did the Sailors throw the Horses Into the Ocean? – 3D Animation


In the ancient times, especially during the
age of sail, which lasted from mid-16th century to the mid-19th century, when the international
trade was dominated by ships sailing across the oceans. Traders from Spain carried horses in ships
to trade them in the colonies in West indies and the Americas. In their journey across the vast North Atlantic
Ocean, they often reached a geographical point where they were left with no option other
than throwing the horses on board into the ocean to survive & stay on course. Due to the frequent dumping of horses into
the ocean the latitudes on that particular region got popular as the Horse latitudes. Why did the sailors had to throw the horses
into the water, what compelled them to throw the beasts away which they boarded on the
ship with an intention to trade? Let’s find out. Between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic
of Capricorn lies a zone called the sub tropics. And in this sub-tropical region are the Horse
latitudes. Also, know as the sub-tropical highs. This region is an area of high pressure which
kills all the precipitation & has a very calming effect on the winds, the sky is pretty sunny
without any clouds. This high-pressure area is created as the
winds from this place either diverge towards the poles or the equator. The subsiding winds subsequently create a
desert like arid climate in the area below. The Sahara Desert for instance is located
on the Horse latitude. In the early age the ships solely relied on
the ocean wind currents to stay on course & complete their journey. And since, there were no winds in the region
the ships would just get stuck for days if not weeks. The voyage would become severely prolonged
& supplies would get thin. Being stranded, unable to sail ahead & with
minimal supplies, the crew often ran out of drinking water. And that made it impossible for the them to
keep the horses alive. It was either them or the horses. They would unwillingly in these extreme circumstances
throw the horses overboard to keep themselves alive & reach their destination with whatever
they were left with. Well, this is the whole origin story of the
Horse latitudes. If you liked the episode, don’t forget to
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content on the channel. This is Curious Planet signing off. Until next time…


2 Responses

  1. Punit Kumar Pal

    August 29, 2019 7:03 pm

    Good video but on the equator Low Pressure is formed and not high pressure , and on about 30 Degree North and South High pressure is formed , see hadley cell, video is good try making it more educative with geographical pt of view.


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