History unfolds itself in the strange and unpredictable path. We have little control over the future and none at all over the past. While many of us will prefer to look to the future, history is a part of everyone’s lives. But sometimes what we were taught in school was only the tip of the historical iceberg.
Here are ten historical facts that will totally fuck with your perception of time.
- Leif Erikson was the first known European to have discovered continental North America (excluding Greenland), before Christopher Columbus.
- The Pony Express was a mail service delivering messages, newspapers, and mail in American old west lore. Following the gold rush in 1848, demands for a faster mail service grew. So three local businessman decided to use mounted riders than traditional stagecoaches for faster delivery. Most people don’t know that this mail delivery system lasted for 19 months.
- Ancient Romans used urine as mouthwash. Urine contains ammonia. Ammonia is one of the best naturally occurring cleaning agents on the planet. Ancient Romans used it as toothpaste or mouthwash for improving the whiteness of their teeth.
- Cleopatra’s reign was closer to the moon landing than the construction of the greater pyramids. Cleopatra died a little more than 2,000 years ago in 30 BCE, while the Great Pyramid of Giza was completed around 2560 BCE which makes the difference of more than 2,500 years.
- Woolly mammoths were still alive when the Great Pyramid at Giza was built. In fact, the pyramid was roughly 1,000 years old when the mammoths went extinct completely.
- The hooked cross symbol Swastika represented good luck and well being as far as back in second century BCE. It is a sacred symbol, even today, in much eastern religion like Buddhism and Hinduism, and is seen in temples and homes. By 1920, the symbol was associated with the German ideology of a ‘pure’ race and was later adopted by the Nazi party during second world war. Hitler turned the symbol as one of the most feared and hated symbols in the modern world.
- Oxford University is older than the Aztec Empire. The Aztec civilization began with the founding of Tenochtitlán in 1325. Teaching started in Oxford as early as 1096, and by 1249, the University was officially founded.
- The idea of female hysteria dates back as far as the ancient Greeks. They believed that a woman’s uterus was, in fact, a living creature. They roamed her body causing illness and distress. By the late 1850s, female hysteria was one of the most commonly diagnosed mental illness in women. The symptoms of female hysteria were said to include insomnia, nervousness, and lack of appetite. In extreme cases, physicians would order the removal of the uterus or a trip to the insane asylum. However, physicians developed the first vibrators to allow women to relieve their own symptoms.
- The Stegosaurus was older to the Tyrannosaurus rex than the T. rex is to us. The time difference between the Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex is larger than the time difference between the tyrannosaurus rex and you.
- Emma Martina Luigia Morano was an Italian supercentenarian who, before her death at the age of 117 years and 137 days, was the world’s oldest living person whose age had been verified, and the last living person to have been verified as being born in the 1800s.