Sometimes things just aren’t as they seem. Or aren’t as they should be. When we try to put historical events into perspective, we often simplistically divide things into ‘old days’ and ‘modern times,’ because our brains can often struggle with the perception of time, and since most of us don’t live to be centenarians, we cannot know what it really means ‘a hundred years ago.’
But what happens when some of the history facts that you would consider to belong to the contemporary world are much older than we think or vice versa?
Bored Panda recently compiled a series of interesting facts on historical events that surprisingly took place at more or less the same time, turning them into real and pretty fascinating co-incidents, and will make you think twice about how you look at the past.
Scroll down below to check these random facts out for yourself, and prepare to have your mind blown!
1 Marilyn Monroe And Queen Elizabeth Were Born In The Same Year. Here They (Both 30 At The Time) Meet At A Movie Premier In London In October 1956
The two were both born in 1926 and once met each other, at the premiere of The Battle of the River Plate in London’s Leicester Square. Monroe was there to accompany her then husband Arthur Miller. You can see her here in the receiving line of guests waiting to shake the young Queen’s hand.
2 Harriet The Tortoise, Who Died In 2006, Had Seen Charles Darwin In Person
Harriet the tortoise was reportedly collected by Charles Darwin during his 1835 visit to the Galápagos Islands as part of his round-the-world survey expedition, transported to England, and then brought to her final home, Australia, by a retiring captain of the Beagle. However, some doubt was cast on this story by the fact that Darwin had never visited the island that Harriet originally came from. She had an estimated age of 175 by the time she finally died at Steve Irwin's zoo!
3 Woolly Mammoths Were Still Alive While Egyptians Were Building The Pyramids (2660 BCE)
Scientists have determined that wooly mammoths were still roaming the Earth until about 1650 BC, the giant creatures could be found on an island off the coast of eastern Russia at the time. Meanwhile, the oldest of the 'Great Pyramids' in Egypt, the Pyramid of Djoser was constructed between 2630 BC–2611 BC, meaning that while man was busy building some of the most incredible structures ever made, wooly mammoths were still doing their thing.
4 Oxford University Existed For Hundreds Of Years Before The Aztec Empire Was Founded (1428)
The Aztec Empire, began as an alliance of three Nahua altepetl city-states. These three city-states ruled the area in and around the Valley of Mexico from 1428 until the combined forces of the Spanish conquistadores and their native allies under Hernán Cortés defeated them in 1521. Aztec culture had rich and complex mythological and religious traditions, as well as achieving remarkable architectural and artistic accomplishments.
Meanwhile in England, Oxford University was already well-established. It has no known date of foundation, but there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris.
5 Anne Frank And Martin Luther King Junior Were Born In The Same Year (1929)
One of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust, Anne Frank gained fame posthumously with the publication of The Diary of a Young Girl, in which she documents her life in hiding from 1942 to 1944, during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. It is one of the world's most widely known books and has been the basis for several plays and films.
Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 until his death in 1968. King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, tactics his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi helped inspire. Both of these symbols of resistance were born in the same year, 1929.
6 Today's Oldest Living Tree (A Bristlecone Pine) Was Already 1,000 Years Old When The Last Wooly Mammoth Died
Would you like to visit a living thing, still alive today, that was around in the time of wooly mammoths? It turns out that actually you can! The world's oldest tree is a Great Basin bristlecone pine located in White Mountains, California, and is dated at 5067 years old.
To put that into perspective, isolated populations of wooly mammoths on Wrangel Island didn't finally go extinct until 4,000 years ago, with the small island in the Arctic Ocean serving as a santuary for the great beasts, forced from the mainland by humans and climate change long before.
7 Star Wars Came Out The Same Year As The Last Guillotine Execution In France (1977)
Star Wars premiered in the U.S. on May 25th 1977. At the same time this futuristic sci-fi was wowing audiences around the world, the medieval practice of death by guillotine was still taking place in France, where Hamida "Pimp Killer" Djandoubi was beheaded for the torture and murder of a young woman. This was the last use of the guillotine in France, nobody else has been executed using any means since.
8 By The Time The Pilgrims Made It To Plymouth Rock, There Was A 'Palace Of The Governors' In New Mexico
People often assume that the first Europeans to settle in the United States came with the landing of the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, MA, in ships sailed from England in 1620. However Spanish explorers had been in the Southwest for almost a century by that time, and in 1610 began building the 'Palace of the Governers' in Santa Fe, already a thriving settlement. So when people say shit like 'speak English, this is America,' point out this fact!
9 The Fax Machine Was Invented The Same Year The First Wagon Crossed The Oregon Trail (1843)
The original fax machine, the "Electric Printing Telegraph" was patented in 1843 by Scottish inventor Alexander Bain, the same year that about 1,000 people set off West for Oregon, forming a huge wagon train on what is now known as the Oregon trail. This set the tone for Westward expansion in the USA, and is the beginning of the 'Great Migration.'
10 You Could Take The London Underground To The Last Public Hanging In The UK (1868)
Hanging used to be a common punishment in the UK, and wasn't abolished until 1868. Micheal Barrett was the last to be executed in this manner, in Newgate prison, London, in front of a large crowd of people.
5 years earlier in 1863, the first journey of the London Underground took place. With a station in operation close by the Newgate prison, it is entirely feasible that many Londoners would take the tube to go and watch somebody get hanged.