The world is changing faster than ever before thanks to the power of technology. A lot of perfectly normal everyday things used to look way different than the versions that you and I are familiar with. History has also changed some iconic things such that if you were to go back in time and see them as they were, you may not even recognize them. Here’s a list of 10 things that have changed.
People have been messing around with chickens in order to make them produce more of their delicious meat since two thousand BC. According to Penn State University research, all of our efforts can be traced back to just four species of fowl from Southeast Asia. In the early 20th-century chicken meat was considered a delicacy, reserved for special occasions and holidays only. Now, the modern meaty chicken weighs twice as much as the chickens of just sixty years ago and we eat them regularly.
Fifty billion chickens are raised annually today, seventy-four percent of which come from factory farms. Big money incentivized us to figure out how to make chickens as big as possible. Along with selective breeding of certain preferable traits like larger breast-muscles, today’s chickens live in controlled, confined environments to reduce their energy expenditure so that they can grow bigger in a shorter period of time. A chicken from 1925 typically weighed 1.2 kilos before it was slaughtered at the age of 112 days old.
Today, they’re slaughtered at the age of 47 days, at a weight of 2.6 kilograms. Going even further back, the wild chickens of old more closely resembled pheasants than they do the gigantic birds that give us fried goodness today. Honestly, those old ones don’t even look like they tasted that good.
Pugs have not always been the lovable little squashed face dogs that we know them as today. Originally, they had pretty normal-looking dog snouts. They were originally bred for the royal families of China, where they lived in luxury and were even guarded by soldiers. You can tell by looking at old paintings of pugs that not only did they have bigger noses, but they had longer legs and more slender bodies as well.
Over time, they were selectively bred to have shorter, squished faces, and stout little legs, for aesthetic purposes. And in a way, you can’t really blame them, since pugs are obviously so much cuter today then they used to be. Unfortunately, pugs and other similar breeds are susceptible to health problems today as a result of these centuries of genetic meddling.
You probably have a camera in your pocket or at least nearby as you’re reading this right at this very moment. You could even be reading this article on something that can be used as a camera. George R. Lawrence would likely be shocked to hear about this. That’s because back in his day, in the year 1900, his camera weighed nine hundred pounds and it took a team of fifteen people just to move it around.
This massive camera was created just so that it could take one picture that would capture an entire train for the Alton Railway. It wasn’t a really big train or anything, cameras back then just weren’t the best.
You could pretty easily take a picture of this train with your phone. Or, to really rub it into George Lawrence’s face, take it with this wafer-thin, flexible sheet camera developed by engineers at Columbia University last year.
It captures better images than that mammoth camera. Best of all, it doesn’t need a crew of 15 to operate it. Another piece of tech we take for granted that was just as gigantic, are vacuum cleaners. Here is the whimsically named Siemens Dedusting Pump.
It weighed six hundred and sixty pounds and ran on a one horsepower petrol motor. In 2017, we have hand-held vacuums. And there are ones that you can just turn on, set down, and they’ll clean your house for you.
In 2017, you’ve got plenty of swimsuit options. We’ve even got solar-powered bikinis that can charge your phone, which is both amazingly efficient but also seems like electrocution waiting to happen. If you were living in the Victorian era, however, your selection would be a lot more limited. Swimsuits used to be full-length wool dresses that women would swim around in.
It doesn’t sound comfortable or effective at all. What immediately followed this trend was seemingly even worse: women would wear a jacket like a top and then long trousers.
It would be almost a century until swimsuits evolved into something that actually made sense for swimming. But if you lived back then, what else were you really supposed to do for fun? Play hoop and stick? Die of typhoid?
6. Phone Towers
Unless your paranoia causes you to believe that the CIA is spying on your every move, you probably don’t even really notice cell phone towers. They’re so commonplace that they’ve become inconspicuous. In some areas, they’re even disguised as trees so as to be even less noticeable.
This was not always the case, however, as you can clearly tell from this picture of The Old Stockholm Telephone Tower.
It had four thousand wires connected to it that ran all over Stockholm. Locals said that it actually blocked the sun. In the late 1800s, Sweden was the most telephone dense country in the world; and Stockholm was the city with the most telephone subscribers, with 4,832. Luckily for those of us who enjoy not having the sun blocked by giant towers that look like they probably house a mustache twirling villain, we figured out how to just put phone lines underground in 1913, so phone towers don’t look like this anymore. This also makes phone lines way less susceptible to the elements.
Strollers have gotten a lot less interesting as time goes on. In 1733, William Kent, who was a landscape architect, not a professional baby-thing designer or something, created the first-ever stroller.
Before he came around, people just carried babies in slings, or, you know, just had to carry them around manually. Kent invented the stroller for the third Duke of Devonshire so that he could amuse his kids. It was not intended to be pushed by a human. It was actually intended to be pulled by a goat, dog, or miniature horse like a tiny carriage or chariot. I for one would love to see this practice revived so that I could see little babies being pulled around by goats rather than pushed around by women in jogging gear the next time I go to the park. But nowadays strollers are pretty lame. You can get this 2017 Aston Martin one for three thousand dollars.
There’s not even anything to attach a goat to.
4. The Blobfish
In 2013, the Blobfish was voted the ugliest animal in the world by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society.
Clearly, these people were not aware that it actually looks totally different. Unlike the other things on this list, the Blobfish didn’t use to look different a long time ago. It looks different when it’s where it’s actually supposed to be – four thousand feet underwater.
The Blobfish looks so weird when it’s out of water because it doesn’t have a swim bladder. It is a special gas-filled organ that a lot of fish have that helps them control their level of buoyancy. The Blobfish also doesn’t really have a skeleton or muscle. So without the pressure of the ocean, it just kind of looks like a saggy ball of lard. This is the only way it can survive at the incredible depths it lives at. If something with a skeleton and muscle, such as you, for instance, were to go that deep, you would be crushed instantly.
3. The Statue of Liberty
There is perhaps nothing more iconic of America than the Statue of Liberty.
And, as it turns out, it used to look way different than the big greenish thing that watches over New York today. The Statue of Liberty’s exterior is made of copper that’s about two pennies width thick. Originally, it also had a color similar to that of a penny.
The copper oxidized over time, and we eventually ended up with the green lady we’ve got today. It would be cool if the statue still had that shiny new penny look. However, the coating it’s developed over the years actually keeps the copper from wearing away, so we can thank it for keeping Lady Liberty in such good condition. The copper, along with the statue’s height, also makes it a big target for lightning strikes. So if you and your friends have any wacky plans to climb up there at night and spray paint some political slogan or whatever, you should avoid doing that during a storm.
2. The Pyramids
Here’s one of the biggest things that have changed. The Pyramids of Giza, one of the seven ancient wonders of the world, actually used to be white. When they were finished, the Egyptians covered them with an outer layer of what’s called “casing stones” to give the giant pyramids smooth slopes. So not only were they originally white, but they didn’t use to look like giant staircases either.
They were straight and would have been the most fun slide ever. These casing stones were made from polished Tura limestone with the express purpose in mind of reflecting the rays of the sun. They were five feet long, five feet high, six feet deep, and weighed fifteen metric tons each.
So what happened to these giant things? Different leaders would take them to use for other building projects because they were too lazy to go get their own. It seems rude, but honestly who can blame them. Nobody wants to carry a fifteen-ton rock through the desert.
1. Fruit and Veg
A lot of the food we eat used to look way different than the version you can get at the grocery store today.
People have been growing bananas for seven thousand years, and they used to look a lot less appetizing than they do now. They used to have big, hard seeds in them.
So eating a banana used to be like eating a watermelon, except worse. People created the modern banana that we have today by combining Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana, which are two wild strands of the fruit. Our combination banana not only has way smaller seeds, but it has more nutrients and is easier to peel.
Then, there’s the carrot. The earliest carrots that scientists are aware of were grown in the 10th century in Persia. If you saw one day, you probably wouldn’t even recognize it as a carrot. They were purple or white and had a thin, forked root.
I don’t even think rabbits would be into eating those things, they really do not look appetizing. If you thought that was interesting, then checkout this video about more foods that have changed a great deal.
Do you know of any other things that have changed drastically over time that I missed out? Will the people of the future look back on what we have now in the same way we look back on the things of our past? Let me know what you think in the comments. Thanks for reading!