As people age, they usually find that the older they get, the faster time passes. And while time is always marching forward at the same rate, the people have perceived it at various points in history has changed dramatically.
For that reason, it's not hard to develop a series of assumptions that govern the popular understanding of how time has moved and how far apart certain events and people throughout history are. But today, prepare to have those assumptions shattered.
An empire fell after the Chicago Cubs won the World Series
In 2016, The Chicago Cubs finally ended a historic 108-year drought between World Series victories.
To illustrate how much time had passed since their first win in 1908, Princeton University's Department of Near East Studies cited that year as one of the first to herald the final decline of the Ottoman Empire. The ailing empire would dissolve entirely after World War I ended.
Betty White was literally older than sliced bread
People have been slicing bread for as long as it's existed, but according to Time, customers would not have found pre-sliced bread in stores until July 7, 1928.
That's because Otto Frederick Rohwedder first had to invent the automatic bread-slicing machine to make the mass production of sliced bread possible. And by the time that happened, Betty White was six years old.
Star Wars was in theaters when France retired guillotines
It's hard for many to imagine the guillotine as being used beyond the French Revolution, but according to Wired, France's last execution by guillotine took place on September 10, 1977. The French government abolished capital punishment four years later.
According to the History Channel's website, the guillotine's swan song happened less than four months after Star Wars first hit American theaters.
The 10th U.S. president's grandson is still alive
Despite the fact that President John Tyler was born in 1790 and died in 1862, it is nonetheless true that his grandson is still living today.
According to Smithsonian Magazine, that's because he fathered one of his sons, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, at the age of 63. Lyon, in turn, had two sons while in his 70s. One of these grandsons is Harrison Tyler, who is now in his 90s.
Queen Elizabeth II and Marilyn Monroe were the same age
According to the South China Morning Post, Monroe met the monarch at the London premiere of the movie The Battle of the River Plate on October 26, 1956.
Monroe's low-cut dress violated royal protocol, and she was so nervous about meeting Queen Elizabeth that she accidentally licked her lipstick off. Yet what stuns people in retrospect is the knowledge that they were both 30 at the time and were born only two months apart.
Cleopatra lived closer to the present than the Pyramids being built
According to the BBC, Egypt's last Ptolemaic ruler was born between 69 and 68 B.C. and died in the wake of her ill-fated collaboration with the Roman Empire on August 12, 30 B.C.
While it's true that this is now thousands of years ago, the time that's passed since Cleaoptra's death doesn't hold a candle to the gap between the construction of the Great Pyramids and her birth. According to the Smithsonian, the pyramids were constructed between 2680 and 2560 BCE.
Van Gogh's Starry Night is about as old as the Eiffel Tower
Considering how important the Eiffel Tower is to France's global image, it's easy not to realize how recent its construction was in the nation's history. As The Guardian outlined, it was finished in time for the 1889 World's Fair and was only expected to stand for 20 years after that.
And while the World's Fair was underway that June, Vincent van Gogh painted his famous Starry Night about 439 miles away. According to the Museum of Modern Art, van Gogh was inspired by the view outside his window while staying at the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum in Saint-Rémy.
Giza's Great Pyramids shared Earth with woolly mammoths
While the Smithsonian's estimate of the Great Pyramids of Giza as being built between 2680 and 2560 B.C. sounds like a staggeringly long time ago on its own, it can nonetheless be surprising to learn that woolly mammoths still walked the Earth at the time.
This is not to say they would have been found anywhere near these pyramids, as the journal Science confirmed that they went extinct on Earth's mainland about 10,000 years ago. However, small communities of mammoths still existed on remote islands by 2560 B.C. and would continue to hang on for almost 1,000 years.
Queen Elizabeth II reigned for 13 U.S. Presidential terms
According to NPR, Elizabeth was old enough to have met President Harry Truman, but she was still a princess at the time.
After her coronation, however, she met almost every president that followed while they were still in office. The only exception was Lyndon B. Johnson, who had never met or hosted her for unknown reasons.
Anne Frank and Martin Luther King Jr. were the same age
Although they were born six months apart, both the revered civil rights leader and the secret diarist during the Holocaust were the same age.
Dr. King was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, while Frank was born on June 12, 1929, in Frankfurt, Germany.
Coca-Cola is only slightly younger than Italy
Although the history of Italy spans thousands of years, most of that history either saw the nation as the territory of the Roman Empire or as a fragmented collection of city-states and conquered lands. According to the U.S. Office of the Historian, the push to unify Italy started in earnest in 1859 and finally saw the country take its modern shape in 1870.
According to the Library of Congress, the world's first Coca-Cola would be served at Jacobs' Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia just 16 years later, on May 8, 1886.
Oxford University is older than the Aztec Empire
Oxford University is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, which makes it a little hard to tell when it was established. Nonetheless, the university's website asserts that teaching did take place there as early as 1096 and that Oxford expanded significantly in 1167.
According to National Geographic, both of these dates had passed by at least 100 years when the founders of the Aztec Empire migrated from their homeland of Aztlan to Central Mexico. And it wasn't until 1428 that three cities in the area would form the Aztec Triple Alliance and start dominating the region.
Nintendo started 69 years before the first video game
Despite how closely Nintendo's name is associated with video games, the BBC reported that the company existed as early as 1889. At its headquarters in Kyoto, Japan, founder Fusajiro Yamauchi and his team designed popular playing card sets known as Hanafuda.
Meanwhile, APS News credited physicist William Higinbotham for creating the first video game in 1958. His creation was the talk of the Brookhaven National Laboratory open house in 1958 and was a simple tennis game similar to Pong.
Abraham Lincoln was alive when the fax machine was born
Moreover, the fax machine was invented almost 20 years before Lincoln was elected president. According to Gizmodo, clockmaker, and inventor Alexander Bain filed a patent for what he called a "chemical telegraph" in 1843. Although it transmitted little more than Morse code, it was a strong foundation for modern fax machines.
The Library of Congress outlined that while Bain was filing his patent, Lincoln had just served his third term in the Illinois General Assembly, fathered his eldest son Robert, and was about to dissolve the law firm he started with Stephen T. Logan.
Harvard University is older than calculus
According to Harvard's website, founder John Harvard convinced the Great and General Court in Massachusetts to fund the college that would eventually be named after him in 1636. By the next year, Harvard University would find its home in what is now Cambridge.
However, the college would not have offered calculus classes at first because neither of the men credited for inventing it had even been born yet. According to John H. Lienhard at the University of Houston, Isaac Newton and Gottlieb Leibniz both claimed credit for creating calculus, and the oldest of the two was born in 1642.
Spain was still controlled by Franco when Microsoft began
According to Wired, Microsoft was founded on April 4, 1975, after Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard at 19 to join co-founder Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
But while Francisco Franco's dictatorship in Spain is largely associated with his collaboration with Axis powers during World War II, the BBC reported that his regime persisted until his death on November 20, 1975. Spain would finally have a democratic constitution three years later.
George Washington had never heard of dinosaurs
Neither the word nor the concept of dinosaurs would have meant anything to America's first president because dinosaur fossils weren't correctly identified until 25 years after his death.
According to Discovery, Robert Plot discovered a dinosaur bone in 1677 but thought it belonged to a giant human. It wasn't until 1824 that Oxford's first geology professor William Buckland discovered his own fossils and concluded they belonged to an extinct carnivorous lizard. Even then, he called it a "Megalosaurus" rather than a dinosaur.
A tree that lived when mammoths went extinct is still alive
According to the National Park Service, there's a tree in the White Mountain range of eastern California called Methuselah that is over 4,850 years old. This makes it the world's oldest living tree.
Since Science confirmed that the last woolly mammoths died out about 3,700 years ago, Methuselah would have already lived for at least 1,100 years before that happened.
Abraham Lincoln died just before the Secret Service began
According to Time, Abraham Lincoln's last official act as president before his assassination was to sign legislation authorizing the creation of the Secret Service on April 14, 1865. He would die by the next day, but the Secret Service wouldn't start operations until July 5.
But as ironic as it is that he helped establish the organization known for protecting U.S. presidents, his final days wouldn't have changed if the Secret Service had been created earlier. According to the organization's website, it was intended to fight counterfeiting and didn't start any protective duties until 1894.
T. Rexes lived closer to the present than to the stegosaurus' time
It's easy to get the impression that dinosaurs lived at more or less the same time, but the United States Geological Survey explained that the stegosaurus had been extinct for about 80 million years by the time the world met its first Tyrannosaurus Rex during the Cretaceous Period.
And since T. Rexes went extinct about 65 million years before the first humans walked the Earth, that makes the gap between the Cretaceous Period and the present smaller than the one between the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods.
The U.S. went to the Moon before Swiss women could vote
As NASA outlined, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took humanity's first steps on the Moon on the night of July 20, 1969.
But it would take another two years for Switzerland to hit a milestone that the United States reached half a century earlier. Because according to the Library of Congress, it wasn't until October 31, 1971, that the European nation held a federal election that women were allowed to vote in.
There are whales alive today as old as Moby Dick
According to the Smithsonian Magazine, there are bowhead whales living near the North Slope region of Alaska that were alive when American whaling accelerated in 1848.
This means that while incredibly unlikely, it's not impossible that a whale who directly inspired Herman Melville's famous 1851 novel Moby Dick is still alive today.
Pluto was found and declassified in just one of its rotations
As Forbes reported, Pluto was declassified as a planet on August 24, 2006, which marks a little over 76 years after its discovery in 1930.
However, the entire history of humanity's awareness of Pluto thus far has elapsed before the former planet completed even one rotation around the Sun. According to NASA, that's because it takes Pluto 248 Earth years to do so.
Auschwitz and McDonald's opened in the same week
As Business Insider outlined, Dick and Maurice McDonald opened their first hamburger stand together in San Bernardino, California, on May 15, 1940. This would eventually blossom into the fast food empire almost universally recognized today.
According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the infamous World War II complex, Auschwitz, would open its doors 37 miles west of Krakow, Poland, just five days later.
All of human history is barely a blip in the universe's history
As the University of Victoria outlined, astronomer Carl Sagan explained on his TV show Cosmos that if the entire history of the universe (starting with the Big Bang) was put on a calendar, humanity wouldn't exist until December 31st.
Not only that, but the birth of anatomically-modern humans would come just six minutes before midnight, and the voyage of Christopher Columbus would take place only one minute from midnight.
When Picasso died, Pink Floyd had just found their footing
Considering that Pablo Picasso's most famous work Guernica was finished in 1937, one would hardly expect that he would have lived to hear one of Pink Floyd's most famous albums upon its release on March 1, 1973.
But while it's unknown whether Picasso listened to Dark Side of the Moon or not, he would have had just enough time to do so. According to USA Today, he passed away from a pulmonary edema a month later, on April 8, at the age of 91.
The Continental Drift Theory took hold after NASA started
According to LiveScience, geophysicist and meteorologist Alfred Wegener theorized that the Earth's land was all part of one supercontinent before its parts drifted apart until they formed today's continents.
But while this is commonly understood now, it was roundly rejected by the scientific community at the time and wasn't proven right until the 1960s. By then, NASA had already started sending people into space.
The Bible wasn't finished when the Colosseum was built
Smithsonian Magazine said Rome's great Colosseum was inaugurated in 80 CE. By that point, only the Gospel of Mark had been written out of what is now understood as the New Testament.
As PBS outlined, Matthew's version of Jesus' life and works wouldn't be finished until approximately 85 CE, while Luke's gospel followed between that year and 95 CE. John's gospel was last and was finished sometime between 90 and 100 CE.
U.S. barely had 48 states when Universal Studios began
According to the Library of Congress, Universal Studios was founded in 1912 as Universal Film Manufacturing Company following a merger between the Independent Motion Picture Company and five other firms.
But if that merger had happened just a year earlier, America would have only had 46 states. That's because New Mexico and Arizona became the 47th and 48th states, respectively, in January and February of 1912.
London got its first subway during the U.S. Civil War
Although the Transport for London website explained that it only connected Paddington and Farringdon Street at the time, London would nonetheless be the site of the world's first underground railway on January 10, 1863.
Not only was the American Civil War still going on at the time, but it would continue to wage for another two years.