Scientists define time as the progression of events from the past to the present and future. Though human beings don’t give it much thought, time is complex. Over the years, it has been associated with money; others think it’s just an illusion. Irrespective of your thoughts about time, here are some unique facts about it.

1. We are All Living in the Past

The human brain can only comprehend events 80 milliseconds after they occur, beating the current or present logic. This explains why some scientists refer to time as an illusion.

2. Ancient Civilizations Relied on the Sun to Tell Time

Before clocks were invented, ancient civilizations often used the sun to tell time. By keeping track of the sun’s cycle, people would know what time it is. Obelisks, the traditional clocks used by the Egyptians, would cast shadows to tell what time it was. As time went by, water clocks and sundials were invented.

3. Jiffy is an Actual Unit of Time

“I will be back in a jiffy” is a common phrase in most English-speaking countries. But did you know that Jiffy is an actual unit of time? In physics, Jiffy refers to the distance light takes to travel in one femtometer. It is the equivalent of a millionth of a millionth of a millimeter.

4. Daylight Saving Time Increases Suicide and Overdose Rates by 6%

A study by the CUNY Graduate Center shows that Daylight Saving Time has a significant impact on suicide rates and overdoses; it increases both by 6.25% and 6.59%, respectively. As a recap, Daylight Saving Time refers to the setting of clocks forward by one hour during spring or late winter, which usually results in disrupted sleep patterns. The study was conducted on United States residents.

5. Time Affects Consciousness

Consciousness can’t exist without time. Time ticks coincidentally with our heartbeats. Therefore, time and consciousness exist simultaneously. Even if you were locked in a dark cell, internal clocks would still govern your consciousness.

6. Astronauts in Space Use a Coordinated Universal Time

Time in space moves much slower than on Earth. So, to ensure astronauts have a designated time zone, they use a Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the same as Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT). This time zone is maintained by atomic clocks, making it relatively stable.

7. Spain Has Been Using the Wrong Time Zone for Decades

Spanish Dictator Francisco Franco moved Spain’s time by an hour so that they could be in solidarity with Nazi Germany time. Almost 80 years later, Spain’s clocks are still an hour ahead, leaving them in the wrong time zone. Spain uses the Western European Time zone, but its clocks are not in line with those of countries on the exact longitude, such as Britain and Portugal.

8. In the US, You Can Experience 2 Time Zones in 1 State

American time zones are not limited to state borders. As a result, you can experience two time zones without moving much. For instance, the people of Texas, Kansas, and Nebraska experience Mountain and Central Time zones. On the other hand, states like Indiana and Michigan experience Central and Eastern Time zones.

9. Some Triathletes Pee on Their Bikes to Save Time

Most triathlete competitions last from 50 to 90 minutes. Every second of this race matters, so some triathletes prefer to pee on their bikes to save time.

10. The North Pole Does Not Have a Specified Time Zone

Because all the lines of the longitudes converge at the North Pole, this part of the world does not have a specified time zone. Therefore, any time from all parts of the world can be used as the local time at the North Pole. Basically, all time zones exist simultaneously at the North Pole. The same applies to the South Pole.

11. The Maximum Difference in Time Zones is 26 Hours

The most extreme time zones in the world are -12 hours in the Baker Islands and +14 hours in Kiribati. That totals to a maximum of 26 hours.

12. China Has Only One Time Zone

Unlike most countries, China only has one time zone, the Beijing Time. That is quite strange, especially considering that China is a humongous country. It means that, if it’s 7 am in Beijing, it is also 7 am in Urumqi, even if the moon and stars are still plastered in the sky. Urumqi is located 2,000 miles away from Beijing.

13. Swahili Speaking Countries Have an Almost Perfect Time Zone

Because most Swahili-speaking countries lie on the equator, they are in an almost perfect time zone. Countries such as Kenya and Tanzania witness the start of a new day at 6 am, and the sun sets at 6 pm. This is unlike most countries whose days start at 12 am and end at 12 pm.

14. A Group of Researchers Tried to Light Petrol with a Cigarette 2,000 Times and Failed

Richard Tontarski and other researchers tried to light petrol or gasoline with a burning cigarette. After trying 2,000 times, the researchers could not pull off the very popular trick in movies.

 

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Last Update: May 3, 2024