||The Compass is a nautical instrument used for the orientation of ships, aircraft and even land vehicles when in motion towards an unknown destination.
The time and place of its invention remain unknown as well as when it was first applied to navigation. Supposedly the Chinese used a magnetic compass around 1100 A.D. , the West European sailors around 1187 A.D., the Arabs around 1220 A.D., and the Scandinavians around 1300 A.D.
The first nautical compass was made of a magnetized needle set on a wooden splinter floating in water in a bowl. Later on the needle was set on an obelisk mounted into the base of a receptacle. The compass changed form many times as it developed to reach its present form. It was always the most useful and recognizable nautical instrument irrespective of form, although considered to be problematic and unstable.