Time. It’s our most precious resource, yet one we often waste the most.
Yet have you ever thought about how exactly our idea of time came to be? What makes a day last 24 hours, and why this is the same for people across the world even if their days are different lengths throughout the year?
Or what strange events occurred for the Pope to decree that in 1752, the day of the 2nd of September would be followed by the 14th of September (and why he was right to do so!).
In this edition of our curiosity articles, we highlight the excellent new VSauce video above, which explains the history of how the world developed its way to measure “when” it was.
It’s all about how the earth moves, and about all of the small variations which we might never think about but which if we ignored would make it impossible for anyone to agree on what part of the year it was.
I learned quite a bit, especially how accurate the early calendars were (especially considering most people back then still thought the Earth was flat and didn’t rotate), but why they eventually needed to be replaced by something even more accurate.
The animations are also especially impressive.
Of course, nowadays the world is so interconnected that they need to have Coordinated Universal Time, measured by more than 400 atomic clocks to within fractions of a second.
But it’s still impressive to know where it all came from.
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