Though it was invented around 500 BC, you don't hear about the scythe much, but it's suddenly sexy thanks to actor Aidan Turner and the BBC historical drama "Poldark." The 31-year-old Turner, who plays the title role of Ross Poldark, recently appeared in an episode shirtless, wielding a scythe to help clear a field. As a result, social media immediately deemed that shirtless scything should be a thing...
A shirtless Poldark wielding a scythe should be on TV every Sunday evening from here to eternity. In a good mood for work now #Poldark— Jane (@JaneGSafc) March 22, 2015
Men across the UK now going online to join a gym and buy a scythe #Poldark— Sarah Ralph (@sarah_ralph) March 22, 2015
So yes, it's safe to say that "scything" is having a moment. Costing a couple hundred dollars, a properly sharpened scythe is not only an efficient and environmentally friendly way to keep grasses at bay, it's also excellent for both mental well-being and overall health.
"People don't realise what an art it is," Simon Damant, the joint U.K. scything champion told the BBC. "You do get these big blokes who just thunder at it, but if you use the whole of your body from the ankles right the way up — twisting your body, all of it — it's like you're charging an elastic band.
Damant added that once people get a handle on the body motions, they can efficiently cut a lot of grass — with most small landholders able to clear one to two acres.
While it's currently unclear what effect Turner's scything will have on the industry as a whole, one man is urging people not to study the actor's technique too closely.
"He couldn't scythe," Richard Brown, chairman of the Scythe Association of Britain and Ireland, told the BBC. "We do a lot of work with film and television companies, but evidently we weren't involved with this one."
Ouch. For those interested in the right way scythe, check out this instructional video below.
And if you're wondering where you've seen Turner before, you probably recognize him from his roles in "Barely Human" and as Kili, one of the dwarves in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" — though he does look remarkably different!
Related on MNN: