The Power of Time

Let's explore amazing examples of things being worn down over time!

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Time has the power to change just about everything, and seeing its effects unfold right before your eyes can be a truly mind-bending experience. From the real effects of too much video gaming to what a decade looks like on Mars, let’s explore some astounding sights that demonstrate the incredible power of time!

Disappearing Lakes

In the space of just three years, the lake in the image below straight-up disappeared, being replaced by a brand-new landscape of wildlife. While the photos may look like two completely unrelated locations, the treeline in the distance remains the same, like a signpost through time. Of course, lakes don’t just disappear without reason, and a lack of adequate rainfall over time emptied this particular lake out, turning it into a fertile paradise!

Disappearing_Lake

But dried-up lakes don’t always look so lush and green. Bolivia’s second-largest body of water, Lake Poopó, disappeared in 2016 after recurring droughts dried up all the salt water, as you can see in this satellite image comparison.

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What was once a vast waterscape is now a white flat of crusted salt and rusting fishing boats, stretching as far as the eye can see. There’s a chance it may recover in the future, but only time will tell.

Tree Eating A Gravestone

When it comes to the effects of nature over time, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better example than the image below from St Andrews Churchyard of Grimsby, Ontario, Canada. This gravestone, thought to be from the 1800’s, has slowly been consumed by a neighboring tree! Because most trees can’t move their roots, they sometimes have to grow around solid objects in their way.

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Pillar of Toronto

Canada is also home to a unique example of the power of time. One stately, limestone column, located at a busy intersection in downtown Toronto, has helped support that Victorian-era building for over 125 years! But as patrons and pedestrians have touched it, leaned on it, and rubbed against it, the soft rock has slowly been worn down into an almost unrecognizable shape!

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Worn Out Apple Keyboard

The old 2003 Apple keyboard in the image below is displaying some serious wear and tear. It’s not just the symbols on the keys that have been worn off. The sheer amount of typing on certain high-usage keys has worn them down to the point where they look like they’ve been melted! Almost 20 years of furiously typing emails is likely to blame.

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Tower of Pisa Worn Marble Steps

From the outside, Italy’s famous Leaning Tower of Pisa looks like a victim of time already, but the inside is where it gets interesting. This iconic landmark has seen so much foot traffic over the years that its marble stairs spiraling up to the top have been worn down by people’s footsteps!

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Different levels of wear are found depending on how steep that part of the building’s lean is, as this affects how people walk and stand. In a few more years that set of stairs will make a fantastic slide!

Rock Carved Steps

But it’s not just foot traffic that can wear down steps. Just take a look at the image below. While it may look like the stairwell carved into this rock has been worn down by visitors, the deep puddle marks on each step tell a different story.

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The curved holes and smooth edges of the stairwell indicate that rain runoff, and maybe even flooding of the nearby creek, has played a part in slowly eroding it over time. Either that or someone didn’t read the wet concrete sign back when planet Earth was being formed.

Statue Rubbing

Some people just can’t resist petting a nearby dog, even if it’s a statue! This brass dog in one of Moscow’s Metro Stations shows considerable wear from passing patrons who have rubbed this good boy’s nose for luck.

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But he’s not the only one! A statue of Greyfriars Bobby, a famous dog who reportedly guarded his owner’s grave in Scotland for 14 years, has a similarly shiny snout! And rightly so; a good boy like that certainly earned a few nose-rubs.

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Dogs Over Time

But not all dogs can look pristine forever. Portraits by Amanda Jones capture dogs in their youth as puppies, directly compared to their years as senior dogs. The image below, for instance, shows Amanda’s dog Lily the dachshund, captured on the left at just 8 months old, compared to 15 years old on the right!

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Time may have changed the fluff of her coat, but it certainly hasn’t worn down the effect of those puppy dog eyes! And while some pups look too cute to be capable of any wrongdoing, the dog below has certainly caused a lot of trouble!

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Over time, leaning out the window of his owner’s truck has put more than a few scratch marks on the paintwork. This dangling dog has done it so often that it’s been worn down all the way to the metal underneath!

Screen Burn-In

Despite having been around the block a few times, classic retro games like Pac-Man can still be addictive and fun. One unusual TV screen proves that fact better than anything! The owner played Pac-Man on it so much that the map of the game was burned onto the CRT TV screen!

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This is known as screen burn-in, or ghost image, caused by long-term use of a specific, non-uniform pattern of screen pixels. Older electronic displays can hold the ghost image even when the system isn’t turned on or even when it’s totally detached!

Aging Whisky

Retro video games are great and all, but alcohol arguably holds the title when it comes to getting better with age! The images below from the Glengoyne Distillery in Scotland demonstrate the procedure for aging whisky in casks over 30 years.

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Each bottle shows the alcohol another year into the aging process. The casks are made from different types of oak that once held sherry or bourbon, and the aging whisky gradually absorbs the color and flavor from the cask.

Evaporation can also be seen accurately represented over this time frame, as around 2% of the whiskey’s total volume escapes as vapor through the porous barrels each year. In the industry, all that lost whiskey is known as the angel’s share; and with a name like that, it sounds like heaven’s going to be one hell of a party!

Worn Out By Students

Many organizations claim they get good business, but one store can really prove it! The bell next to the door of this shop has knocked against the wood so many times that it’s worn a hole right through the top.

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via Imgur

The store is located next to a university campus, so that amount of business isn’t surprising, although it’s not the only thing worn down by eager students. This photo of the worn-down door handles from Michigan Student Union shows how most students over the years have vastly preferred the right-hand door!

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It could be because most students are right-handed, or that they walk on the right side down the hall once they enter. Either way, they certainly seem to have a handle on things!

Pipe Calcium Build-Up

While some things wear down over time, others build up, like the mineral deposits in the pipe below! Believe it or not, that thick crystal-like layer built up in just 6 months!

Pipe_Mineral_Build_Up

But how is that possible? Well, this specific pipe was used to transport water from a natural, thermal spring to a swimming pool. The geothermal water itself is full of minerals, which are gradually deposited, crystallizing into clumps inside the pipes. It’s a very similar process to how crystal-filled caves form in nature!

Shaky Crosswalk Tracks

It doesn’t take a road-markings expert to know that guide tracks over crosswalks definitely shouldn’t look like the one in the image below. But this mess isn’t intentional, nor is it the result of a shaky-handed painter.

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In reality, the passing of many cars on hot summer days has made this once-straight track too crooked to guide anyone. Over time, hot temperatures have heated up the asphalt and paint, making it more malleable. It’s then been gradually dragged in different directions by passing cars, leaving their imprints on the road markings.

Mars Rover After 10 Years

But time doesn’t just hold power over Earth; we can see its effect on Mars too! The Mars Rover, which landed on the red planet in 2004, went equipped with a camera. After 10 years of hard work, its anniversary photo shows the changes the planet has made to the Rover’s base area.

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Red dust now coats the once-shiny solar panels and the rocks around the base have been exposed by wind. When your little robot arms can’t use a mop and bucket, what a difference a decade on Mars can make! Looks like the red planet’s first colony is going to need a pressure washer.

Faded Coke Can

Back on planet Earth, while there’s no red dust the weather in Texas still managed to break down the color of a soda can left exposed to the elements. The technical term for this kind of color fading is photodegradation, where ultraviolet rays in sunshine break down the chemical bonds in pigments, fading the color of an object.

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The can had been sitting in that cup holder for about 2 years, and only the parts of the can exposed to the sun were faded!

Bike Store Worn Out Wall

The brick corner wall in the image below forms part of the exterior of a bike store that has been around for approximately 30 years. Customers visit with their bikes, and many of them park on the exact same corner. As countless pedals of happy customers have struck the same bricks, part of the corner has slowly worn down into a groove, making it an even better home for parked-up pedals!

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Flagpole Hook After 20 Years

If you’re going to fly a flag, you might want to double-check your hoisting equipment to ensure your flag doesn’t literally go flying! At least, that’s the conclusion drawn from the incredible example of wear and tear in the image below.

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Internet Photo

This hook came from a flagpole that had been in use for over 20 years! As the flag waved and flapped in the wind, the rope wore down the metal of the hook until it was dangerously close to breaking loose and flying away! Hopefully, the owner of this hook won't accidentally take it on a mountain expedition!

Worn Out Shop Floor

There are over 46,000 convenience stores dotted about Great Britain, and while a lot of them look similar, you can see how the one in the image below stands out. The store, found in London, has two distinct patches on the floor that show where people have been standing and waiting to pay over the course of years.

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It’s an amazing example of how a negligible amount of force (in this case, people simply standing in the same spot) can have a surprisingly substantial effect over a long time. Either that or the cashier is extremely slow.

Buddhist Monk's Footprints

But that worn-down shop floor is nothing compared to the devotion of Buddhist monk Hua Chi, whose exact footprints have been ingrained into the wooden floor of his temple!

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For over 20 years, this man has prayed at the exact same spot in Tongren, China, reciting and practicing up to 3,000 prayers a day! This drawn-out dedication has worn those perfect prints of his feet over an inch deep in some places into the wooden floor. His dedication has, quite literally, left its mark!

Scorched Grass

Some marks of time passing can prove to be a little more destructive than others, like the scorch line burned into dry grass in the image below. While there’s no arsonist to blame, the cause of the burn comes from the glass bowl of the light above it.

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As the sun passes overhead, the spherical shape of the glass creates a point of intense heat by focusing the sunlight onto one small patch, like a bratty kid killing ants with a magnifying glass. But as the sun changes position in the sky, the patch moves, until it’s out of the glass orb’s focus.

Zlatni Rat, The Beach That Changes Shape

While old father time is responsible for a lot of change, mother nature also has a shared hand in speeding along some of the more drastic transformations. Like those of Zlatni Rat Beach in Croatia. Back in 2018, a powerful storm managed to shift huge amounts of the beach’s sand, turning the straight tip into an almost 90-degree bend virtually overnight!

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This natural, golden cape’s iconic protrusion into the sea makes it susceptible to changes from high winds and strong waves. Funnily enough, this has happened on several occasions, and the beach has been transformed into numerous incredible hook-like shapes over the years. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase sands of time!

I hope you were amazed at these unbelievable examples of worn-out things that remind you of the awesome power of time. Thanks for reading!

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