Time is something we have no control over. Physicists describe time as the progression of events from the past to the present into the future. It can also be considered a fourth dimension of reality, used to describe events in three-dimensional space. While we imagine or associate certain events to have occurred during a specific time period, some of them might actually surprise you. Here, we have gathered some time-based facts that will literally mess with your perception of time.
1. Octopuses are older than dinosaurs.
Octopuses are old; very old. Scientists were able to recover a fossil that lived some 296 million years ago; making them way older than dinosaurs. After studying the fossil, scientists estimate the animal to have lived around the Carboniferous period. This means that way before life had progressed on land, octopuses were already ruling the seas. The fossil is on display at the Field Museum in Chicago and careful observation of the fossil reveals the eight tentacles and two eyes. (source)
2. 61 million people were still using pagers in 1994.
Before email, texting, social media and smartphones, there was a time when mini portable radio frequency devices were the only way to establish instant communication. Pagers, most commonly known as “beepers”, were invented in 1921 but it did not reach the public until 1958, since FCC did not approve of it. By 1964, Motorola cornered the market with the first portable pager that allowed a user to establish contact in case of an emergency. By the 1980’s, there were 3.2 million pager users worldwide.
Almost a decade later, wide-area pagers multiplied the amount of users who were carrying the device, which was smaller than a deck of cards. By 1994, there were over 61 million pagers being used worldwide, which were capable of sending short messages such as “Good night”.By 2001, Motorola stopped manufacturing them since wireless mobile phones were gaining popularity and the fad was slowly fading away. (source)
3. During the 1700’s, when novels were gaining popularity, the media grew increasingly concerned that young men and women were spending too much time reading. Some even went as far as naming it ‘reading rage’, ‘reading fever’ and ‘reading mania’.
Roughly 28% of Americans consistently read books today. However, back in the 18th century, many cultural commentators were concerned about the growing habit of young men and women reading books. Some went as far as categorizing the habit as an addiction, rage, fever or mania. Some of the media sources even claimed that it was an outbreak or an epidemic of reading. Today, the average adult reads less than 4 books a year and cultural commentators are pushing more of us to spend time reading. (source)
4. Cleopatra lived closer in time to the invention of Snapchat than to the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza.
Cleopatra was a Greek Macedonian and descended from Ptolemy, one of Alexander the Great’s generals. Cleopatra was an intellectual who spoke nine languages, including Greek and Egyptian. She was also said to have had more charm than beauty. Cleopatra died a little more than 2,000 years ago in 30 BCE, while the Great Pyramid of Giza was completed around 2560 BCE. Snapchat was founded in September of 2011. (source)
5. The oldest living person was born closer to the signing of the US Constitution than to today.
Emma Morano-Martinuzzi was born on November 29, 1899 in Civiasco, Vercelli, Piedmont, Italy. The eldest of eight children was an Italian supercentenarian who, at the age of 117 years and 137 days, was the world’s oldest living person whose age has been verified, and the last living person verified to have been born in the 1800’s. Morano was still living alone in her home on her 115th birthday. When asked about the secret of her longevity, she said that she had never used contraband, ate three eggs a day, drank a glass of homemade drink, and enjoyed chocolate. She also credited her long life to her diet of raw eggs and being single. The US Constitution was signed in 1787. (source)
6. Will Smith is now older than James Avery (Uncle Phil) was when Fresh Prince of Bel-Air first aired.
Actor James Avery, who played the beloved Uncle Phil on the hit 1990’s sitcom, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, was 68-years-old when he passed away in 2013. Will Smith was 21-years-old when the Fresh Prince was being aired. Although it’s hard to believe that the show started airing almost 28 years ago. Today, Will Smith is 50-years-old and James Avery was only 45 when Fresh Prince premiered back in 1990. (source)
7. We landed a man on the moon before we figured out that life would be easier if suitcases had wheels on them.
During the 1960’s, people carried their luggage from one place to another. Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the Moon. Between 1969 and 1972, there have been six manned U.S. landings and numerous unmanned landings. The first patent to put wheels on luggage was filed in 1972 and changed our lives forever. However, the Rollaboard model with a telescoping handle and two wheels (instead of four) was only invented in 1991. So, we basically put humans on the moon years before we even thought about making travel easier for everyone. (source)
8. The fax machine was invented the same year people were traveling the Oregon Trail.
The first fax machine was invented in 1843 by a Scottish mechanic named Alexander Bain. The first model utilized a combination of synchronized pendulums, electric probes and electrochemically sensitive paper to scan documents. The information was then sent through a series of wired networks and the receiving end recreated the document. At the same time, the “Great Migration” on the Oregon trail began, when a wagon train of about 1,000 migrants attempted to travel west. (source)
9. The Eiffel Tower was inaugurated the same year Nintendo was founded.
The Eiffel Tower was inaugurated for the 1889 World’s Fair. Meanwhile, Nintendo started out as a playing card company, and was founded in the same year. In 1889, Fusajiro Yamauchi, founder of Nintendo, began manufacturing “Hanafuda” (flower cards); Japanese playing cards in Kyoto. The cards were an instant hit and started spreading throughout the world. Today, the card making company has moved its strategy into the gaming business and has a net worth of $115 billion in the gaming industry. (source)
10. We invented smart phones, the internet, GPS and flat screen TV’s before we made regular ketchup in upside down bottles.
The first flat plasma display panel (PDP) was invented by Donald Bitzer, Gene Slottow and Robert Willson in 1964. The first mobile phone call was made 45 years ago in 1973, by Motorola employee Martin Cooper, who stood in Midtown Manhattan and called the headquarters of Bell Labs in New Jersey. ARPANET adopted TCP/IP on January 1, 1983, and since then, researchers assembled networks of networks, which became the internet. The GPS system was finally completed in 1995, when the last of a full “constellation” of 27 fully operational GPS satellites were launched into space.
In in 1983, Heinz released the first squeezable Heinz Ketchup bottle. In 2000, the company developed green ketchup in EZ Squirt bottles in an attempt to appeal to youngsters. The packaging design was an instant hit but the upside-down bottle of Heinz Ketchup didn’t appear on the market until 2001. (source)