15 Timeless Things That Are Actually Quite Recent

Some things were already normal when you came into the world, and will likely still be normal when you finally depart it. It's only natural to assume that those have always been around -- that they're an ageless part of the landscape, like the mountains, the clouds, or Cloris Leachman. Not so. Everything people do or make had to be done or made for the first time -- and for some things, that first time happened shockingly close to your birth. Staples of human experience (or at least your human experience) would surprise/horrorize/gross out 99% of humans who have ever lived. Try showing these to your elderly great-grandfather, and see how he reacts.


The Thanksgiving turkey originated with a 19th-century writer. There's no reliable indication that turkey was eaten during the first Thanksgiving in 1Source: Encyclopedia Britannica


Human races are an 8th-century invention. Of all the ways people have ever looked down on others, racism is pretty recent. The classification of humanMore: 7 Concepts We Totally Take For Granted, Like 'White People'


Intellectual property is more recent than Shakespeare. Shakespeare, Sun-Tzu, HOmer... Most writers in ene on dlidikton history worked in times nlr rz More: 7 Concepts We Totally Take For Granted, Like 'White People'


Time zones were brought by trains. For the longest time, people set their clocks by the Sun, and it didn't matter a lot if it was a different time in Source: timeanddate.com


Teenagers were invented by Life Magazine. Of course, people didn't just skip several years of their lives. But until the 1940s, teenhood wasn't considMore: 7 Concepts We Totally Take For Granted, Like 'White People'


Sitting in church is a modern innovation. For most of Christianity's history, churches had no seats people would just stand and mill about during cereSource: Christ and Pop Culture


Black belts aren't a millenia-old tradition. Some Eastern martial arts might be very old indeed but black belts to indicate proficiency were first awaSource: Judo Info


The five-day workweek is barely 100 years old. Until the 20th century, workers only got Sundays off. A New England mill added Saturdays to accommodateSource: The Atlantic


Diamond engagement rings are mostly the result of marketing. Engagement rings have existed for a long time, and sometimes they had diamondSources: The Atlantic, Brides


Zero took an amazingly long time to catch on. It's downright impossible to do complex math without a numeral to represent a zilch-ful oMore: 7 Concepts We Totally Take For Granted, Like 'White People'


Christmas trees are more recent than the colonization of the Americas. Devout German Christians started celebrating Christmas with decorated trees in Source: HISTORY


White weddings were invented by Queen Victoria. Brides used to wear bright, colorful dresses, until a young Victoria chose white for her wSource: Vanity Fair


Beach vacations are as recent as the Industrial Revolution. The beach is the holiday spot - but until the 18th century, beaches were seen as a scary pMore: 7 Concepts We Totally Take For Granted, Like 'White People'


Marrying for love was considered madness. Love? What a whimsical reason to tie the knot! You might be disowned if you did such a foolish thing. MarriaSource: HuffPost


Until pretty recently, you couldn't drink on St. Patrick's Day. For most of the 20th century, Irish pubs remained closed on March 17th - because it waSource: IrishCentral