Top 5 Facts: Lighthouses


The builder of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, Sostratus – disobeying orders from the pharaoh Ptolemy – engraved his name and a dedication to the sea gods on the tower base.


The technical term for the study of lighthouses is ‘pharology’, a word derived from Pharos, the island upon which the great Lighthouse of Alexandria once stood.


George Meade built many notable lighthouses in the US during the classical lighthouse period. He is remembered in history as the winning general in the Battle of Gettysburg.


The tallest lighthouse in the world is the Yokohama Marine Tower in Yokohama, Japan. The structure flashes alternately green and red every 20 seconds.


Originally lighthouses were lit merely with open fires, only later progressing through candles, lanterns and electric lights. Lanterns tended to use whale oil as fuel.