Thread About Things That Are Older Than We Think Goes Viral, And It’s A Real Treat For History Lovers (93 Pics)

GateNerd , wikipedia Report

The ancient Romans (well, the wealthy ones) had central heating in their homes. You can actually still see the pipes in some of the buildings at Herculaneum!

jazzman0116 , wikipedia Report

If we know the past well, it’s far easier to make predictions about the future and how technology will change and improve. However, making prognoses is never a guaranteed success. And anyone who tells you that they know something will happen for certain is selling you snake oil!

Beer is thought to be older than bread.

It’s much easier to fill a jar with wheat and water, let it ferment, and brew beer than it is to grind grain, mix it, and bake it.

4dseeall Report

The fact that the lighter is older than the match shook my head as a kid.

It also gave me the curiosity to question things that seems obvious.

Gyroklovn , wikipedia Report

Earlier, I spoke about the future of tech with Aaron Genest, an Applications Engineering Manager for Siemens Software and the President of SaskTech. According to him, making accurate predictions about the future of tech and devices is difficult but not impossible.

“I’d argue that most people underestimate the timelines necessary to produce the technological goods on which we rely and the investment made to allow them to exist. By looking ‘upstream’ in that investment space, we can have a pretty good idea of what whole industries are betting on,” Aaron from Siemens told Bored Panda earlier.

I was really surprised to discover when Oxford university was founded. They don’t know the year for sure, but they know there was definitely teaching going on there in 1096.

princess_mothership , wikipedia Report

Contact lenses.

Leonardo da Vinci had the idea of contact lenses in 1508 and the first successful contact lenses were made in 1888.

-eDgAR- , wikipedia Report

“For instance, it takes almost two years to develop and produce a computer chip and get it to market for a phone, and five years to get something into a new kind of car. So if we want to have a sense of what, for instance, the gadgets in our cars will look like in 2026, we just need to look at what the car manufacturers are asking their suppliers to design today,” the expert explained to Bored Panda.

So take a look at history, have a peek at what’s going on currently, and soon enough you might be predicting the future along with the best of the best, dear Pandas!

The sentiment that modern society is degenerate and that the youth are to blame is, iirc, one of the oldest things we have written down.

That I can remember off the top of my head, Cato the Elder complained that the younger generations were becoming too greek, and Socrates used to complain that the younger generations were ruining their brains by writing instead of memorising information. There are far more older examples, but those are the oldest I remember (maybe Socrates was onto something)

CountPeter , wikipedia Report

Fax Machines. They were invented in 1843. Before the telephone.

Darpyface Report

The Aux connector that we still use for headphones and speakers was invented in 1877. There have been improvements since, but the basics of it are pretty much the same.

given2fly_ , wikipedia Report

The idea that everything’s getting worse and that the world’s coming to an end soon. Sure, there’s new vocabulary and new science involved, but people have been sounding that pessimistic alarm throughout history.

TimesThreeTheHighest Report

Escalators have been around since 1859, though they were called rotating stairs.

KidHarvey Report

I don’t know if this counts but Dinosaurs lived on the earth a lot longer than most people think. When you think of dinosaurs, you think of their extinction but they roamed the earth for 165 million years. Compare that to our 6 million and it’s almost mind boggling, at least imo.

The modern form of humans is 200,000 years old but if we include our humanoid ancestors, we’ve been here 6 million years.

saymynamebastien , James Lee Report

Brain Surgery In 1997, archaeologists discovered an ancient tomb in the French village of Ensisheim from 5,000 BC, which contained the decomposing body of a 50-year-old man with holes in his skull. After a thorough examination, it was determined that the holes, located near the frontal lobe, were caused by a type of surgery, not by forced trauma, and the operation appears to have been successful because the wounds healed before the patient’s death. To this day, however, researchers cannot say for sure what exactly the surgery was trying to fix.

[deleted] , Danielle Kurin Report


It predates the oldest Pyramid in Egypt by nearly 300 years.

squeeeeenis Report

The use of concrete. It’s use goes as far back as the Mayans, but more notably in Egyptian construction as well as in Rome. The Romans had an arguably greater concrete mix than we currently have, but that was never passed down. Eventually the use of concrete fell out of popularity for centuries as we seemingly lost the information needed to create it, as if the recipe was thrown out and nobody wrote it down.

Also Samuel L Jackson. The man is 71 years old, but looks like he hasn’t aged in decades!

DanBeecherArt , wikipedia Report

Social media – wealthy ancient Romans had a system where they used slaves as scribes and messengers in order to share gossip and art/poetry and news updates with friends in their social circle.

VictorBlimpmuscle Report

The first carbonated drink to be sold to the public was invented by Swiss watchmaker and amateur scientist J. J. Schweppe in 1783, who sold his delicious “sparkling water” to thirsty customers in Geneva. In just seven years, he was doing business so fast that he moved the factory to London and introduced a new flavor, sparkling lemon, to stand out from competitors who were trying to imitate his drink.

DarkSyrupp , wikipedia Report

You. By the law of conservation of mass “ no mass can be created or lost simply moved or changed into something else” your body and all inside of it and everything in the universe for that matter has been around since the very start. Only in random atoms etc and when we die our bodies are recycled back into the universe to be made into something cool. Like cow poo.

jxcobs12 Report

The name Tiffany.

It dates back to the 12th century, and has actually led to a thing in writing called “the Tiffany problem,” because you can have a well-researched historical novel that people just don’t buy into, because you named your 12th century peasant Tiffany. It just sounds laughably anachronistic.

BeaneathTheTrees Report

Astronomer here! The star HD 140283, also nicknamed the “Methuselah Star,” is about 200 light years away from us and looks nondescript. However, if we take its composition and compare it to our standard models of stellar evolution for other, better-studied stars, the star’s age pops out as 14.46 ± 0.8 billion years old. Let me remind you, the universe is thought to be about 13.8 billion years old, and we don’t think we got the first stars until maybe 200 million years after that…

Obviously, we do not think the Methuselah star is literally older than the universe when it is more likely that we just don’t understand stellar evolution for stars like it super well. However, it is exciting because it is undoubtedly a very old star, and currently we do not have any observations of what the first stars were like in the universe. (Called Population III stars, it’s thought they were larger than stars are today because there were no metals from stellar fusion to contaminate the hydrogen gas, and they’d thus only live a few million years tops.) As such, it’s very interesting to have a very old star relatively next door to us in the Milky Way! It will be really interesting in coming years if other very early stars are finally observed to figure out how old they are, and how they compare to this one.

Andromeda321 Report

A native American empire nearly a third of the size of the present day United States existed in the Great lakes region at the time the old testament of the Bible was thought to be written

Truckerontherun Report

A lot of fads have this sense of modernity to them — that you have an Instagram influencer pushing a product and everyone leaps onto it in order to be hip and cool — but it’s nothing compared to the way people followed trends in the past.

I’ve written about the case of French people having rectal surgery because it was fashionable before, but there are dozens of examples. Even something as basic as the fork only became popular because Catherine de Medici made it trendy in the courts of France; before then, it was considered positively barbaric because it allowed you to eat too quickly and without grace. And then there are the fashion trends that were literally lethal, like lead oxides to whiten skin for purely aesthetic reasons. (After all, pale skin meant you weren’t tanned, which was hard to pull off unless you were rich enough that you didn’t have to work outside; you don’t see a lot of pale farmers.)

And then you get what we’d call viral challenges today. You think planking was dumb? Well, you would have loved phonebooth stuffing, which was huge in the fifties and involved trying to cram as many people as possible into a phonebooth. Why? Just because.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Portarossa Report

Humans with our intelligence and empathy and rationality.

People in the past lacked education and our culmative knowledge – but even cavemen thousands of years ago didn’t differ too much from us.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams, a documentary about cave paintings from 30,000 years ago really drove this home for me. The art there is so expertly rendered it really shows a thinking and curious mind.

yokayla Report

A large portion of Autism spectrum disorders. About 40 percent of them have been in human genetics since around 40000 B.C.E. God damn genetic bottleneck causing supervolcano eruption.

chaosdude81 Report

The electric car.

What is likely the first human-carrying electric vehicle with its own power source was tested along a Paris street in April 1881 by French inventor Gustave Trouvé. The first crude electric car was built in the 1830s but it was essentially a semi-functioning model.

The electric car was a direct competitor to gasoline powered vehicles until the 1920s when roads got better, people started driving further than the range of an electric car, and the world started finding major oil reserves.

Buwaro Report

It may only take 8 minutes for light to travel to earth from surface of the sun, but the light bounces around inside the sun for over 10000 years before it reaches the surface.

sorenriise Report

The world in general. The theory that if all of the Earth’s history were laid out on a calendar, our current century would only make up the last 10 seconds or so of December 31st. Always blows my mind to consider it that way.

lazernicole Report

We are farther from the release date of the first Back to the Future movie than Marty was from 1955

Nattie_Pattie Report

The Appalachian mountains. They’re 480 million years old, older than complex life on land, and older than the formation of Pangaea — i.e. the continents have come together and back apart since they formed so parts of what were the original Appalachians are actually scattered around the world. The Scottish Highlands and the Appalachians are *the same mountain range*.

gin_and_miskatonic Report

Beer. It’s one of the oldest prepared drinks in the world. It not only predates every civilization but actually contributed to their creation.

Col_Walter_Tits Report

The wealthiest of the ancient Minoans had very close to modern day plumbing. The entire Minoan culture is really fascinating, not to mention their poor choice of clothing lol

Bob_from_RnD Report

The theory of Quantum Mechanics. Some of the earliest discoveries in the field date back to the early 19th century, starting with Faraday’s discovery of Cathode Rays in 1838, Gustav Kirchhoff’s work on black body radiation in 1850, and Boltzmann’s theory of discrete energy states in 1877. The name itself was coined by Max Born, Werner Heisenberg, and Wolfgang Pauli in the early 1920s.

For comparison, the theory of plate tectonics was first put forward in 1912 and wasn’t widely accepted until 1965.

ksheep Report

Retractable roofs on stadiums. The Colosseum had a version of this called a velarium, which was a large awning that could be used to cover the seating areas and was controlled through a series of pulleys. The Colosseum also had rudimentary elevators, used mostly to transport wild animals and scenery pieces from the storage areas to the arena floor.

TheEldritchHorror Report

Nintendo was founded in 1889.

Van Gogh painted Starry Night in 1889.

Adolf Hitler was born in 1889.

Eiffel tower opened in 1889.

North Dakota became a state in 1889.

Pizza was invented in 1889

National Geographic magazine was founded 1888.

Fosters beer was first brewed in 1888.

Jack the Ripper did most of his murders 1888.

type3civilization Report

Domesticated dogs. The relationship of humans living with dogs (or some kind of domesticated wolf creature) dates back over 15,000 years. Some of the earliest known fossils of Homo sapiens are found with dog bones.

Essentially, the bond between man and dog goes back farther than we can even document.

legionofnow1992 Report

Plastic surgery was mentioned in Egyptian text dated back to 3000-2500 BC. These were carried out by Sushruta in India during 800 BC.

Raaz8569 Report

The London Underground.

The oldest part opened to passengers in 1863.

Gadget100 Report

Cruise control, power windows and automatic headlights.

I saw all 3 on a 1955 Cadillac. Oh, and the radio on it had a seek function.

s14sher Report

Water. That water you’re drinking is as old as the earth .

Chorb77 Report

Commercial aircraft. Most are 10 – 15 years old yet a lot of people think they get replaced like cars.

They are still very safe though despite their age.

VanillaIceCinnaMon Report

The 80s. They were 40 years ago, but it feels like 20 years ago

skaddad Report

The ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh was already an ancient mythical ruin barely anyone knew anything about by the time Xenophon of Athens came across it 2500 years ago.

cumbernauldandy Report

Vibrators. A physician invented the first vibrator in the early 1880s because doctors used to treat “female hysteria” by bringing women to orgasm!

100_emoji_human_form Report

In my experience, a lot of people I know personally don’t realize that music cassettes were invented in the 60s. Cassettes didn’t really take off in the states until the late 70’s, but the first albums released on cassettes hit shelves in 1966.

Steamed_Hams89 Report

The Stanley Cup. It predates the NHL, and if you look at the history of teams that have won it, there is a year where it wasn’t awarded due to the Spanish Flu pandemic. The top of it is the original trophy, but the rings on the bottom are replaced every couple of years when they fill up with names.

onzie9 Report

The arrival of people in North America. Many scientists believe a sea route was used to navigate to the continent much earlier than the Bearing Land Bridge. This is hard to prove, however, because any archeological sites that could be found along shorelines are now well umderwater.

Indy_Anna Report

3.5mm Headphone jack.

Made in the 1950s, for transistor radios, it originally developed from the 1/4” plug which was first used in a telephone switchboard in Boston around 1878.

d_4bes Report

Pornography, as we know it today, predates sliced bread by at least fifty years. The oldest surviving hardcore porn film is (of course) a French film called L’Ecu d’Or ou la Bonne Auberge, and was released in 1908.

TheLastIronMan Report

Oldest capital city in America, being declared the capital of the New Mexican territory by the Spanish Crown in 1610, making it 410 years old, far older than the US itself.

mackavicious Report

A lot of what we think of as modern human advancements predate homo sapiens or someone else did it first including:

PoorCorrelation Report

The Earth. It is almost impossible to comprehend how much time goes by in 4.65 billion years, when a human lifespan is ~80 years. Our brain can’t really understand that large a quantity of time.

CaesarManson Report

Gobekli Tepe, the world’s oldest manmade structure that is 12000 years old. It is found in southeastern Turkey and predates Stonehenge by 6000 years and the pyramids by over 8000 years.

toronto10101 Report

Computers, darn things all have been around for nearly a Century at this point, some folks think that they only just appeared in the 80s and onwards. They’ve been around for a very long time, its only recent that they’ve become small, and powerful enough to be fitted into your own house

HanjiZoe03 Report

Written history wasn’t developed until later, but oral tradition reaches back as long as 40,000 years among Australian Aboriginal people, as verified by accounts of volcanic eruptions, sea level rise, and hunting now extinct animals.

yearof39 Report


They have experimented with designs dating back to 1760

-eDgAR- Report

Trees. There are alot of trees that are waaaaaaaaaay older than you would expect

FriedFriew Report

Google, Reddit, YouTube, it’s hard to imagine that they already have been around for 15 years with Google actually being around 20 years old.

A entire generation has now grown up that cannot remember that it wasn’t always there.

emile44 Report

Contraceptives such as condoms were around a very long time and made of hard leather

ironwolf6464 Report

Touch screens.

We think they’re one of the main defining features of modern technology since they only really got big in the late 2000s / early 2010s, but they were actually invented 55 years ago in 1965. It’s kind of crazy to think about, but while most of our grandparents were getting rid of their black and white TVs, researchers already had touchscreen devices in the labs.

It wasn’t really until the 80s that it really got good, but by 90s it was easily sophisticated technology. In fact, Microsoft even had a Windows XP tablet out by 2001 that had seriously good finger/stylus recognition, but it didn’t really pick up until smartphones became a thing a decade later.

You could also consider the magnetic drawing board to be a touch screen since it more or less has a stylus and surface for you to draw on, but that was actually invented later than the touch screen in 1974!

Noisetorm_ Report

Cardboard. Cardboard has been around since colonial times at least. I learned this at the book makers shop in colonial Williamsburg a few years ago. Totally blew my mind.

LadyShanna92 Report

For comparison, that puts them about 113 million years older than non-bird dinosaurs, which lived between about 245 and 66 million years ago.

Master_of_Rivendell Report

The song black Betty by ram jam used to be a marching song in the revolutionary war and black bettys were muskets of course the lyrics did change a bit but it’s still pretty cool that we’re rocking out to songs created by people hundreds of years ago

Background_Gene_3657 Report

How we view time when video games and movies come out and/or are edited in some way.

StarFox 64 came out about 24 ears ago.

Kevin from Home Alone is 40.

xToasterManx Report

The first ever 3D movie, “The Power of Love”, was made in 1923

angry_d00d Report

Touch screen in cars. That has been around since 1986

dvdh_03 Report

The song “Friday.” Technically, it’s older than most 3rd graders, having been released in 2011.

3ast_ Report

MetLife insurance was founded in 1868, Prudential in 1875.

Conspiracy theorist Bill Burr always says, “go to any big city the two biggest buildings will be insurance companies and banks.”

DuffGardensHurrahhhh Report

YouTube… Been around since 2005 and it was a very different place back then!

LoLoLaaarry124 Report

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