Rare Facts That Will Alter Your Perception Of Time


A view of the pyramids at Giza from the plateau to the south of the complex. (Ricardo Liberato/Wikimedia Commons)

Wooly Mammoths Walked When The Pyramids Were Built

The last of the wooly mammoths were believed to have existed around the Arctic Circle in what is now Russia as far back as 4,000 years ago. This means that when the Great Pyramids were built in Egypt back in 2550 B.C.E., these remnants of the Ice Age still roamed the Earth.

Oxford Is As Ancient As The Aztecs

While the Aztec Empire is indeed very old, as the capital city of Tenochtitlan was founded way back in 1325, Oxford University in England is even older. Oxford became a large-scale college in the 1200s, but students were learning at the school as far back as 1096. The oldest building on campus is St. George's Tower in Oxford Castle and was finished around the year 1020.

President John Tyler, half-length portrait, facing right. (Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons)

America Can Be Measured In Only Three Generations

The United States may have been the first country in the Americas to win its independence from its colonizing empire, but in the grand scheme of things, it's still a relatively young country. In fact, one could argue that the history of the U.S. can be contained in as little as three lifetimes, especially if you happen to be from the Tyler family tree. President John Tyler was born just a few years after the Constitutional Convention and served from 1841 until 1845. He had a son named Lyon who was born in 1853, who went on to father a child of his own, Harrison Tyler, who was born in 1928 and is still alive today.

Harriet, 2002. (Fritz Geller-Grimm/Wikimedia Commons)

The Same Tortoise Was Owned By Darwin And Irwin

A famous tortoise known only as Harriet is believed to have first been captured by famed scientist Charles Darwin on his trip to the Galapagos in 1835. Some years later, she was taken to Australia by a friend of Darwin, as she was not well adapted to the cool English weather. For the better part of the following century, Harriet lived at the botanical gardens in Brisbane before eventually finding her forever home at the Australia Zoo, where Steve Irwin and his conservation-minded family took good care of her. She died in 2006 at the ripe old age of 175.

Fax Machines Are The Same Age As The Oregon Trail

It may be hard to wrap your head around, but the Oregon Trail opened in 1843, the very same year the patent for the fax machine was issued to Alexander Bain. The first commercial telefax service opened in 1865, more than a decade before Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.

Star Wars And The Guillotine

In 1977, Star Wars may have been a futuristic leap forward for movie making, but the true cutting edge was to be found in France, where the ghoulish guillotine was remarkably still used to execute prisoners. Hamida Djandoubi was the last to suffer this unfortunate fate on September 10, 1977, only a few months after the famous flick premiered.

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