Historical Facts That Will Destroy Your Perception Of Time

By: Alec Donaldson | Last updated: Nov 01, 2023

Do you ever feel like time is slipping through your fingers? As a parent, this realization hits harder when you catch a glimpse of your child and realize how much they’ve grown. Wasn’t it just yesterday that they were a tiny bundle of joy in your arms? And yet here they are, ready to take on the world.

But do we truly comprehend the passage of time? Sure, we all think that we understand it, but some astonishing facts might make us think twice. Brace yourself because these facts will make your jaw drop and your mind reel in disbelief. 

Cleopatra Was 500 Years Away From Tasting Pizza

It’s hard to fathom just how long ago the pyramids were built, but the fact that Cleopatra lived closer in time to the opening of the first Pizza Hut is mind-blowing. The pyramids were constructed around 2560 BC, while Cleopatra lived over 2,500 years later in 30 BC. 


Source: Eslam17 / AmRest / wikicommons

Interestingly, the first Pizza Hut restaurant was opened in 1958. This means that Cleopatra lived just 500 years before the inception of this popular pizza chain. It’s a remarkable realization that puts into perspective just how long ago the pyramids were built and how recent some of our modern inventions are.


A Century's Worth Photograph In Two Minutes

In the age of smartphones and social media, it’s not surprising that we take many photos. But did you know we capture as many images as people did every two minutes throughout the 1800s? That’s a staggering amount of photographs: over 3.5 trillion each year! 


Source: David Roberts / IJReid / wikicommons

This incredible statistic highlights how much technology has advanced and changed how we document our lives. With cameras now in our pockets, capturing and sharing the moment with the world has never been easier. 

Someone Is Older Than the Aztecs

It’s hard to imagine that Oxford University is older than the Aztec civilization. Teaching in Oxford can be traced back to 1096; by 1249, it had become an official university. 


Source: Jonas M / Gary Todd / wikicommons

The Aztec civilization, known for its advanced civilization and impressive architecture, began in 1325 with the founding of Tenochtitlán. This means Oxford has existed for over 200 years longer than the Aztecs. The fact that Oxford has survived and thrived for so long is a testament to its enduring legacy and the importance of education throughout history.

Will Smith Is Now Older Than Uncle Phil

Will Smith made his acting debut with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 1990 at 22. The critically acclaimed sitcom paved the way for Smith’s Hollywood career and became a memorable part of our childhood.


Source: Maureen Donaldson/Getty Images / Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

You might find it hard to accept that Smith is now older than James Avery, who played Uncle Phil when the show first aired. Avery was 45 back then, and Smith is now in his 50s. Time does fly!

Flying To The Moon In Just 66 Years

The evolution of aviation since the Wright Brothers took to the sky for the first time in 1903 has been quite astounding. In 1941, the Japanese used planes to drop explosives on Pearl Harbor, 38 years after the pioneering invention. 

Source: George Grantham Bain Collection / NASA/Bill Ingalls / wikicommons

In 1969, only 28 years later, Apollo 11 landed on the moon. While the Wright Brothers stayed airborne for 59 seconds, astronauts could look at Earth from the moon for the next 66 years after its invention. 


Ti-83 Calculator Can Outperform Apollo 11 Mission Computers

What if we told you that the TI-83 calculator you used to solve school math problems and play Tetris is more powerful than the computer that sent humans to the moon? Yes, you heard that right!

Source: NASA / Public domain / wikicommons

The TI-83 calculator had significantly more processing power than Apollo 11 computers. Apollo 11 guidance computers run at 1.024 MHz, while a TI-83 calculator operates at 6 MHz – a whopping six times faster!


John Tyler's Grandson Is Still Alive

John Tyler ruled the United States of America from 1841 to 1845 as its 10th president. He was the first president to marry while in office and fathered many children from two marriages, the highest among American presidents.

Source: unattributed / Terry John Tyler / wikicommons

 Over 160 years since his demise, John’s legacy has lived on – his grandson Harrison Tyler, born in 1928, is just a few years shy of turning 100! His other grandson, Lyon Tyler Jr., sadly passed in 2020 at 95.


All About Woolly Mammoth

Woolly mammoths are an extinct species that lived 1000 decades ago. They were roughly the same size as modern African elephants but rarely seen on the African continent.

Source: David Roberts / IJReid / wikicommons

Densely covered in fur, these creatures had long curved tusks. It is believed that they perished before human civilization. The last small population of surviving mammoths may be as old as Egypt’s Giza pyramids.


The Fax Machine Is As Old As The Oregon Trail

The fax machine is an interesting device that is modern by most standards. Surprisingly, the machine dates back to when people used the Oregon Trail. This is way older than some of our family trees.

Source: Bureau of Land Management / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 / wikicommons

Surprisingly, despite having made advancements in the technological space over the years, people still use fax machines. It looks like the device is here to stay. 


France Still Used The Guillotine When 'Star Wars' Premiered

Star Wars brought sci-fi to the forefront of mainstream entertainment in 1977, marking a significant cultural shift. Meanwhile, in France, the country continued to use the guillotine as capital punishment, with its final execution on September 10th of that year. 

Source: Dorieo / Star Wars/Ron Riccio / wikicommons

This brutal and archaic practice survived an era of technological advancement and enlightenment. As a result, it raises questions about the persistence of outdated traditions and the struggle for progress.


Sliced Bread Is Younger Than Betty White

We all love Betty White because she always feels like the grandma we always wanted. White was born in 1922, which makes her older than sliced bread. This nifty delicacy was invented in 1928, making us wonder how people made sandwiches back then.

Source: Angela George / FranHogan / wikicommons

Come to think of it – Betty is one of the luckiest people as she got to experience the first ever sandwich. She saw the snack develop into what it is today.


The Perfect All-in-One Representation

Most of us fondly remember Radio Shack, the retail giant of electronic products. It was the go-to store for all our battery, cable, wire, adapters, and other electronic needs. However, this store’s popularity has waned over time among the younger generation. 

Source: Imgur

Why, you ask? Well, consider this advertisement for a moment. While it showcases many products, the truth is that most can now be found on our smartphones. We no longer need to wait for the President’s birthday sale to purchase electronic goods.


Warner Bros. Started When the Ottoman Empire Still Existed

When we talk about the Ottoman Empire in history class, it sounds like such a long time ago it’s hard even to fathom its existence. Believe it or not, this glorious empire lasted until 1923.

Source: Wikicommons

This was two decades after Warner Brothers was founded in 1903, which is impressive considering this film company’s tremendous cultural impact. At the time, Hollywood and the Looney Toons franchise were still in their early stages, making the company’s accomplishments even more remarkable. 


Calculus Was Invented Years After Harvard Was Founded

Although formal and informal education has always been a part of human culture, there are more formally educated individuals today than ever before. Believe it or not, despite how useful calculus has proven to be, it wasn’t invented until 1665. 

Source: David Adam Kess / daniel / wikicommons

This is around 29 years after Harvard University was founded. Fortunately, there is always time to learn, so those who could not study it earlier still have a chance to do so.


Stegosaurus And Tyrannosaurus Never Co-Existed

Contrary to what some may assume, there has never been a time when Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus co-existed. While the Stegosaurus roamed the earth 150 million years ago, it’s been 65 million years since the T-Rex’s existence. 

Source: FabSubeject / wikicommons

Therefore, the time gap between when the two species lived on earth is larger than the time gap between you and the T-Rex. With all the information we have access to today, there’s a lot you can learn about the T-Rex; take advantage of the opportunity. 


World Population Has Doubled In Over Four Decades

In recent decades, healthcare advancements have led to a significant rise in the global population. If you’re over 45 years old, you’ve witnessed a doubling of the world’s population during your lifetime. 

Source: Imgur

Despite this population growth, we have also seen improved life expectancy due to better healthcare and living conditions. Taking proper care of yourself can increase your chances of living a long and healthy life. It’s important to acknowledge the challenges a growing population poses and strive to address them sustainably, ensuring a better future for all.


Some Whales Are Older Than *Moby-Dick*

It may be difficult to believe, but some whale species alive today were born before the publication of the famous novel Moby-Dick. Although we don’t know how this is possible, we do know that certain whale species have exceptionally long lifespans, such as the bowhead whale, which can live for up to 200 years. 

Source: Zorankovacevic / wikicommons

We could learn from these remarkable creatures by finding a way to communicate with them and discover the secrets to their longevity. As we continue to study and learn about the natural world, we may gain valuable insights and knowledge to help us improve our lives and society.


Days Last Longer Than A Year On Venus

For those who are always complaining about not having enough hours in a day to finish everything they need, we have a solution for you; move to Venus.

Source: NASA / wikicommons

There, you will have 243 earth days as a single day, when the planet rotates once. On the other hand, it only takes 225 days for Venus to orbit the sun. This planet would have a confusing calendar if one were made!