In 1714, the British Parliament introduced the Longitude Act, a law rewarding a £20,000 bounty (more than $1 million in today’s money) to anyone who could accurately determine longitude at sea. Captains had been struggling with poor navigation since the onset of global trade. Though sailors could easily measure latitude by gauging the sun’s height, longitude was very hard to determine and inapt techniques veered vessels of course. Without visual bearings, humans were sailing blind on the open seas. The increased travel time led to scurvy, delays and ships smashing on the rocks — losing crew and cargo forever to the deep.