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23 Facts That Will Totally Fuck With Your Perception Of Time

Um, so, Oxford University is older than the Aztecs. THE AZTECS.

1. Cleopatra lived closer in time to the invention of Snapchat than to the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza.

Cleopatra died a little more than 2,000 years ago in 30 BCE, while the Great Pyramid of Giza was completed around 2560 BCE. That's a difference of more than 2,500 years.

2. Also, the Great Pyramid was older to the Romans than the Romans are to us.

Even in its earlier years, the Roman Empire was still further removed from the construction of the Great Pyramid than they are from us.

3. Oh, and the Stegosaurus was older to the Tyrannosaurus rex than the T. rex is to us.

Spumador / Getty Images

Not only did they not exist at the same time, but the T. rex (which lived 85 to 65 million years ago) became a species about 74 million years after the Stegosaurus died out.

4. The oldest living person was born closer to the signing of the US Constitution than to today.

Olivier Morin / AFP / Getty Images

Emma Morano-Martinuzzi, the oldest living person today at age 117, was born in 1899. That's 112 years after the signing of the Constitution, which was signed in 1787.

5. The 10th president of the United States has two grandchildren who are alive today.

National Archive / Getty

John Tyler had a son, Lyon Tyler, at age 63. Lyon went on to have children late in life as well, including Lyon Tyler Jr. and Harrison Tyler, both of whom are alive today...and are only in their eighties.

6. Oxford University is older than the Aztec civilization.

Tejvan Pettinger / Flickr: tejvan
Dennis Jarvis / Flickr: archer10

Oxford began teaching in some form all the way back in the year 1096. By most accounts, the Aztecs didn't begin their civilization until the beginning of the 13th century.

7. Harvard University was founded before Isaac Newton published his laws of motion and gravity.

Roman Babakin / Getty Images

While not nearly as old as Oxford, Harvard is still an old university. It was founded in 1636, almost 50 years before Isaac Newton published his Principia Mathematica in 1687, which outlined his laws of motion and law of universal gravitation.

8. We made it to the moon only 66 years after the Wright brothers invented human flight.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

The Wright brothers' first flight was in 1903, and the Apollo 11 moon landing was in 1969. There's so much Americans can accomplish when we get in a pissing contest with Russia.

9. Woolly mammoths were still alive when the Great Pyramid at Giza was built.

Sean Gallup / Getty

In fact, the pyramid was roughly 1,000 years old when the mammoths went extinct completely, which wasn't until about 1560 BCE.

10. When the first Star Wars movie came out, France was still executing people by guillotine.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Lucasfilm / Disney

The final execution by guillotine in France occurred in 1977, when a man by the name of Hamida Djandoubi was executed for torturing and killing his girlfriend. That was the same year the first Star Wars movie hit theaters.

11. When the fax machine was invented, people were still traveling the Oregon Trail.

Mike Nelson / AFP / Getty Images

The first major wagon train hit the Oregon Trail in 1841. Just two years later, Scottish inventor Alexander Bain created a preliminary version of the modern fax machine.

12. The Ottoman Empire still existed when Paramount Studios was founded.

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The Ottoman Empire was founded around the year 1300, but it lasted all the way until 1922. Paramount was founded 10 years earlier in 1912.

13. Betty White is older than sliced bread.

Joe Scarnici / Getty Images

Speaking of 1922, that's the year Betty White was born. By contrast, the first commercially produced, automatically sliced loaves of bread weren't made until 1928.

14. Will Smith is now older than James Avery (Uncle Phil) was when Fresh Prince of Bel-Air started.


Not sure how it's even possible, but Will Smith is now 48 years old. James Avery was 45 when Fresh Prince premiered back in 1990.

15. If they made a That '90s Show and waited the same amount of time after the decade as That '70s Show waited after the '70s, the show would be made in 2017.


It might seem like That '70s Show was made way after the end of the '70s, but that gap is exactly the same as the gap between now and the '90s.

16. The Eiffel Tower was inaugurated the same year Nintendo was founded.

Most people know that the Eiffel Tower was inaugurated for the 1889 World's Fair. What you might not know is that Nintendo started out as a playing card company, and was founded in the same year.

17. Anne Frank, Martin Luther King Jr., and Barbara Walters were all born in the same year.
Ilya S. Savenok / Getty

Though they're often thought of as having lived in very different times, Anne Frank, Barbara Walters, and MLK Jr. were all born in 1929.

18. Some of the world's whales that are alive today were born before Moby-Dick was written.

Some bowhead whales are believed to have a lifespan of more than 200 years. Since Moby Dick was published in 1851, that means there may be whales out there who are nearly 50 years older than the book.

19. Pluto didn't even get to complete one orbit around the sun between the time it was discovered and the time it was declassified as a planet.


Pluto was discovered thanks to an observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, back in 1930. It was heartbreakingly demoted in 2006. Because of its distance from the sun, Pluto takes 248 Earth-years to orbit the sun just once. That means it didn't even get halfway around during the time it was being called a planet.

20. 9/11 happened closer to the fall of the Berlin Wall than to today.

Gerard Malie / AFP / Getty Images

The Berlin Wall fell in 1989, only 12 years before 9/11, the 15th anniversary of which just passed this year.

21. If the history of the universe were placed on a calendar year, humans would only exist starting around 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31.

This was famously outlined by Carl Sagan in Cosmos. If you compressed the entire history of everything, going back to the Big Bang, into a calendar year, all of human history would only take up just a little more than the last minute of the last hour of the last day of the year.

22. More than 6% of all humans who have ever lived are alive today.

Thanks to a boom in population growth following advances in technology and medicine, the current human population living on Earth right now is about 6% of the entire human population in the entire history of the planet.

23. Everything you see happened in the past, not the present.

Since it takes about 50 milliseconds for visual information to process in your brain, by the time you actually "see" something, it happened in the past.

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