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Time: 7 Facts That Will Alter Your Perception

Did you know that Disney was created before the Ottoman Empire disappeared? But what if I told you that the whales from ‘Moby Dick,’ written 200 years ago, might still be alive?

Insane as they may seem, these time facts are real and we have more to come. Our journey begins at Oxford University:

1. Oxford University has been around longer than the Aztecs while Harvard University is older than Gravity.

Oxford is the oldest university in the world in terms of how we know universities nowadays. While the Aztecs founded the city of Tenochtitlan, the heart of their empire, in 1325, lectures at Oxford have been held already since 1096. Just think about the Aztec era, the students back then, and the high-tech students now with their iPads and wireless earplugs. Fascinating!

Harvard University was founded in 1636, making it the oldest university in the USA. Professors in Boston have been teaching science here before some of the most important discoveries. Sir Isaac Newton published his Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica in 1687.

Photo by Tada Images from Shutterstock

2. Human time gaps

The 10th President of the US’s grandchildren are among us.

John Tyler was born in 1790, inaugurated as President in 1841, and had children pretty late.

Lyon Gardiner Tyler, his son, who was born in 1853, also decided to have children in his later years. This led to his sons, Lyon Tyler Jr., born in 1924, and Harrison Tyler, born in 1928, to bring his legacy to the present day and own the title of being the grandchildren of the 10th President of the US. As Lyon Tyler Jr died in 2020, Harrison Tyler, known as an American engineer and businessman is still living his golden years, aged 95.

The last American Civil War widow

Maudie Hopkins was born in 1914, which was long after the end of the Civil War. It happened that she married a man 67 years her senior. Her husband had fought in the Confederacy, and he died in 1937. Hopkins lived to be 93 and passed away in 2008, bringing the Civil War Era This close to our era.

Queen Elizabeth II and the President meetings. 

She greeted 13 different American Presidents. She was crowned in 1952, in the time of Harry Truman, the 33rd President, and this is only her reign timeline.

She was born in 1926, during the presidency of Calvin Coolidge. Talking about her lifetime, she was here to see 16 of our Presidents.

3. The Great Pyramid of Giza

The last population of mammoths is known to be living on Wrangel Island, on the coast of Russia.

They didn’t go completely extinct until around 2000 BC—well, the great pyramid of Giza was built hundreds of years before, from 2580 to 2560 BC, giving us another perspective about how humans used to live back then, what creatures they used to have around them, and how we see these two different facts separately.

Continuing the discussion about the Pyramids and sandy stories, we also have one fact about the iconic Cleopatra.

Related to the same topic of the Giza Pyramids and her timeline, Cleopatra (69 BC – 30 BC) seems to be living closer to our era and owning an iPhone rather than being present at the construction of The Great Pyramid of Giza.

4. Animals

Stegosaurus and Tirex—even if they are all dinosaurs and we seem to add them all to the same group, there are thousands of years between them.

We tend to generalize when it comes to dinosaurs. The entire epoch is clear.

It’s too common to imagine they were all coexisting in the prehistoric era. Whether they were land creatures, air creatures, or sea creatures, they coexisted until a single catastrophic event— The Unfamous Meteor Strike.

Well, this isn’t really how things were going.

These two well-known dinosaurs: Stegosaurus and T. rex—between their existence, you could encompass the entire course of human history and multiply it with… 12. So, images of a T-rex chasing down a stegosaurus can just be described as anachronistic.

The Stegosaurus roamed the Earth during the Late Jurassic Period, meaning 159–144 million years ago. T. rex made his first appearance in the final stages of the late Cretaceous period, 68 million years ago.

Is Moby Dick still here?

Moby-Dick was published 200 years ago. There are most likely whales still alive that have been living longer than this. Some whales born before the book was even published probably still have a lot more to live.

Greenland Shark

In 2016, scientists used radiocarbon dating on the eye tissue of Greenland sharks in a study to estimate their ages. The oldest shark was a 16-and-a-half-foot-long female, estimated to be 392 years old. The margin of error would’ve been plus or minus 120 years.

Assuming the shark’s age is 272 years, this still means the birth date would be 1744, making her older than some of the Founding Fathers.

Considering the highest estimate, she would be 512 years old, and her birth would date to 1504. This was only 5 years before Henry VIII ascended to the throne of England. We can imagine sharks swimming in the ocean today that predate not only the US but every modern-day country in the Americas.

Bowhead whales

While bowhead whales may not live as long as the Greenland sharks, the radiocarbon dating of their eye tissue showed that one whale lived 211 years.

This brings some bowheads to the mid-19th-century Golden Age. This century is known for American whaling, which makes them survivors and there are probably more of them swimming in the oceans from back then to nowadays.

5. What do Disney and The Ottoman Empire have in common?

The Ottoman Empire was first established around 1299. It’s often associated with 1453, the year when the Ottoman Empire captured the city of Constantinople, terminating the Byzantine Empire.

Well, we associate it with historical events, but why would we associate it with Walt Disney?

The Ottoman Empire didn’t dissolve in the 1600s or even in the 1800s. We want to let you know that even if this Empire seems so far in time, it was still vivid when the first cartoon from Disney was released in 1920.

time perspective
Photo by rafapress from Shutterstock

6. Star Wars and the Last Guillotine

The late 18th century in France is known as the Reign of Terror. France’s guillotine execution didn’t occur during this period. The last execution of this method took place in 1977.

Worldwide, this year was marked by sci-fi enthusiasts flocking to theaters to watch a film called Star Wars. It’s remarkable how the past and the future managed to meet in the same year in different parts of the globe, and it points out how human evolution fluctuates.

7. The Cosmic Calendar Exposing the Universe Timeline

On the cosmic calendar, which begins with the Big Bang, Homo sapiens make their appearance just before midnight on December 31.

Carl Sagan published The Dragons of Eden in 1977. He devised the “cosmic calendar to help us see our place in the timeline of the universe. The concept is a compression of the entire history of the universe into a single calendar.

The Big Bang was interpreted as January 1st, or about 13.8 billion years ago. In the representation of this calendar, life shouldn’t appear until the 31st of December, and not even in the morning.

The astrophysicist notes that on the cosmic calendar, the first life on Earth emerged in late September. Well, the stroke of midnight occurred on January 1st. December 2 is marked by the first sexually reproducing organism, the single-celled eukaryote.

The extinction of the last non-avian dinosaur was dated December 17. The entrance of Homo sapiens was arranged around 11:48 p.m. on December 31, marked with the invention of the wheel and writing.

time perspective
Photo by frank60 from Shutterstock

If human history is what you’re interested in, this is one of the most interesting books on this subject, that you can get via Amazon.

If you liked our article, read next: How did Presidents Earn Unconventional Nicknames throughout History?

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