The Vasa is one of Stockholm's leading attractions. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/SCANPIX
different measurements caused mix-up

Vasa ship was "lopsided"

The Swedish ship Vasa was wonky because its Dutch and Swedish builders had different sized measuring rulers, according to new research.

The ship, which was the pride of the Swedish fleet, sank on its maiden voyage in 1628 in Stockholm harbour. It was salvaged from the sea bottom in the 1950's and is now one of the Swedish capital's leading tourist attractions.

The hull of the ship has now been scanned and measured, and although the researchers do not think the ship's irregular shape made it sink, it could have made it slightly more unstable. For example the gun ports were not in the same place on the ship's port and starboard sides.

The reason could be that a Dutch foot in the middle ages measured 281 millimetres, while a Swedish foot measured 297mm, according to Swedish news agency TT, causing confusion amongst the builders.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
Du hittar dina sparade avsnitt i menyn under "Min lista".