Pictures That Capture The Subtle Passing Of Time

Incredible | 6/3/20

I was talking with my parents the other day about my great-grandma and how I felt lucky to have met her before she passed away. She was 99 and had seen so much change in her lifetime.

But then I thought that I have, too. Everyone has, we just don’t always realize it until all that time has passed. We’re closer to 2050 than we are to 1970! It’s one of those crazy facts about time that makes it not seem real. When you look at these photos, you’ll realize just how much the world has changed in a seemingly short amount of time.

The Sun Can Completely Change How You Age

a person who used to drive a truck has more damage on the side of their face that faces the sun
Photo Credit: Reddit / Advocate7x70
Photo Credit: Reddit / Advocate7x70

This person had been driving a delivery truck for 28 years. The side of their face that looks older was the side that always faced the sun. I better go get some sunscreen.

The UV rays from the sun can cause you to age more quickly. If this doesn’t convince you to put on sunscreen, I don’t know what will. This is pretty good evidence that UV rays aren’t good for the health of your skin.

That’s One Hard Worker

worn down keyboard
Photo Credit: Reddit / jraygun13
Photo Credit: Reddit / jraygun13

After repeated use, even things like our keyboards and computers get worn down. A lot of the time the letters are the first thing to rub off, but this person has used this keyboard so long, they’ve made dents.

This does look like a pretty old keyboard, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not compatible with more modern computers. It’s possible that this keyboard is still being used and still being dented by fast typing fingers.

Round And Round The Barber Chair We Go

perfect circles around barber chairs
Photo Credit: Reddit
Photo Credit: Reddit

This barbershop has been in business for a long time. You can see the almost perfect circle the barber follows around the chair when they’re doing their work. It won’t be long until they are little dents, too!

I wonder how many people had their hair cut in these chairs. Probably thousands. If you put all the cut off split ends that ever landed on this floor end to end, you’d have a rope long enough to circle the globe twice. That’s not a fact. Don’t quote me on that.

You Have A Favorite Mug, But What About A Favorite Spoon?

spoon that was used for 45 years that has tip eroded
Photo credit: Reddit / cistfurcharlie
Photo credit: Reddit / cistfurcharlie

According to this user, their grandmother has used the same spoon to stir their coffee for 45 years. It sounds crazy but the now-square tip of that spoon doesn’t lie.

We hope that square tip is a dent and not erosion because that would mean that this lady has been ingesting bits of spoon very slowly over the past 45 years. It’s probably not a good idea to microdose metal. It can’t be the healthiest practice.

Some Things Stand The Test Of Time

a church being power washed
Photo Credit: Reddit / emissaryofwinds
Photo Credit: Reddit / emissaryofwinds

Look at this absolutely beautiful church. But, even though it may have survived through a lot of changes around it, it found a way to change itself. This church is a beautiful white color, which can only be seen when you wash years of dirt and exhaust away.

It’s going to take a long time to get all of the black off of this building, but once the restoration is complete, the results are going to be stunning.

A Somber Reminder Of WW1 Trenches

trenches over grown with nature
Photo Credit: Reddit / Pimping_NZ
Photo Credit: Reddit / Pimping_NZ

Even though WWI ended over a century ago, there are still reminders of it everywhere. This is a picture of The Somme in Northern France. You can see the outline of the trenches and artillery shell craters even though it’s been overgrown by nature.

This photo kind of looks like a wound that might be found in somebody’s skin after their stitches are removed. It just goes to show that we still haven’t totally healed from the events of WWI.

Time Passes Fast

an older hand and younger hand
Photo Credit: Reddit / Import
Photo Credit: Reddit / Import

Before we know it, we will all start to see the passing of time on ourselves. We will get grey hair and wrinkles and a lot more knowledge about the world.

This photo shoes a grandmother’s hand next to her granddaughter’s hand. These hands look like they could belong to the same person the way they’re clasped together like that. It looks like one hand has aged while the other stayed young. Genetics is pretty amazing.

Any Landscaper Knows What Happened To These Headstones

graveyard headstones that are worn away at the bottom
Photo credit: Reddit / Kevone215
Photo credit: Reddit / Kevone215

You might be confused about how this shows time, but a groundskeeper would know these are headstones where the bases have eroded from weed-whacking. These stones have truly endured a lot.

They may not be as pristine as they were when they were first carved, but they’ve done their job well for all of these years. These headstones were placed in this field as a reminder to us of the people who lived and died before us.

Talk About Worn Down

two of the same knives, one has been worn down
Photo Credit: Reddit / kjbleau
Photo Credit: Reddit / kjbleau

These are both the same knife, just one has been worn down from repeated sharpening. Like any person who loves their craft will tell you when you have a favorite tool, you hold onto it until you can’t anymore.

Eventually, this chef is going to need a new knife, but for now, he’s sticking with what he knows. That knife might be really sharp, but it just isn’t the same as it used to be.

Limescale Build-Up Got The Best Of This Old Pipe

pipe with layers of limescale
Photo credit: Reddit / parasite3go
Photo credit: Reddit / parasite3go

This cross-section of an old water pipe shows off the intense layers of limescale build-up. It gets worse when you realize this is what the build-up of cholesterol looks like in our arteries. Ew!

These pipes definitely need to be replaced. Pretty soon, no water is going to be able to get through them. Limescale buildup is caused by the minerals found in our tap water. These minerals can settle in our pipes over time.

A Well-Loved Kitty

two versions of the same cat, one is just older
Photo Credit: Reddit / Connguy
Photo Credit: Reddit / Connguy

The poster was gifted with this stuffed cat in 1995 from their great aunt. After her passing, they found the same stuffed cat in pristine condition. Under the post, people told stories of replacing their children’s toys with replicas because they were getting old and gross.

The thing is, kids always know the difference. They usually their original old and tattered stuffed animal more than a pristine new one. You really can’t compete with sentiment.

An Actual Stepping Stone

a rock with foot steps worn in
Photo Credit: Reddit / Nightaware
Photo Credit: Reddit / Nightaware

It’s clear this boulder has been here a long time. So many people have climbed it that actual foot holes have been carved out. It’s no wonder it’s such a popular spot — look at that view!

It must have taken decades for that foot hole to be formed in this literal rock. I wonder how this rock feels about getting stepped on all the time. It probably doesn’t feel anything because it’s a rock.

This Is Definitely Someone’s Favorite Cook Book!

a cookbook that has been in the same family for generations
Photo Credit: Reddit / TheSealClubber
Photo Credit: Reddit / TheSealClubber

The person who posted this said that their grandma got it from their mother and has been using it for 70 years since then. This just goes to show you that some things never change. Especially our love of cake.

This book is actually in pretty good condition considering its age. You can see where it’s discolored around the tabs on the right-hand side of the photo but the inside of the book is pretty clean.

That’s A Lot Of Ideas

a used notebook and a new notebook
Photo Credit: Reddit / aky5214
Photo Credit: Reddit / aky5214

Even though a lot of time may not have passed when you finish a notebook, it’s neat to see all those pages filled with things that have come to matter to you.

Have you ever actually finished a notebook? I always seem to misplace mine before I actually get around to finishing them. It’s so cool to see all of those blank pages full of words and doodles. Don’t throw out your old notebooks. They’re fun to look back on later.

Just A Few Weeks Can Make A Difference Too

a pen bent after being left in car for weeks
Photo credit: Reddit / Fish_have_legs
Photo credit: Reddit / Fish_have_legs

Time can change things over hundreds of years, or even just a few weeks. The user who posted this photo said it took the Australian heat less than a month to warp this pen that was left forgotten in a car.

If you thought you lived in a hot environment, this has probably never happened to you. This just goes to show how hot it is in Australia and how quickly a pen can melt.

We All Love Candy

a scanner worn down from so many people using it
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

All that candy is probably why this checkout counter has been so worn down. This is the kind of thing you’d only notice after it was all worn off and you look at it one day and think ‘huh’.

This is what happens after years of people slamming their favorite chocolate bar and a bunch of change on this counter year after year after year. The pattern almost looks like a heat map with the hottest spot being just beside the register.

You Gotta Go Where You Grow

tree that has started to grow horizontally
Photo credit: Reddit / heyasshat
Photo credit: Reddit / heyasshat

We’ve seen nature do some pretty cool things over time but watching a tree grow entirely horizontal is pretty interesting. I’m just wondering how it’s still standing and hasn’t tipped over yet.

Eventually, this thing is going to get too heavy, and at least some of the trees will end up on the ground. For now, we can just look at this gorgeous photo. and bask in its glory. Trees like this aren’t easy to come by.

Those Are Strong Bushes

plants leaving marks on a fence
Photo Credit: Reddit / Pimp_Papa
Photo Credit: Reddit / Pimp_Papa

The bullrushes in this photo have left the semi-circular patterns on the fence behind them. I wonder if this will be something that keeps happening as the plants get bigger, or if they’ll move away from the fence. Every time the wind blows these plants rub against the fence, but as they grow, that semi-circular friction line gets higher and higher.

It’s soo cool to have a visual indication of how much these plants have grown.

Who Else Has A Favorite Mug?

marks in a cup from being stirred so much
Photo Credit: Reddit / SleepySquirrelZzzzzzz
Photo Credit: Reddit / SleepySquirrelZzzzzzz

This person has used the same mug to make their tea so often that a spiral has formed on the bottom in the pattern this person stirs their milk and sugar.

It looks like a little atom. It’s pretty cool that electrons and coffee spoons move in the same elliptical pattern. That has to say something about the interconnectivity of all living and moving things on our planet. We’re all made of atoms, after all.

Is There Even A Pole Under Here?

layers of posters on a pole
Photo Credit: Reddit
Photo Credit: Reddit

I’m going to wonder every time I walk by a pole full of posters if it actually has years of posters making it look bigger than it is. I wonder how many amazing events have been advertised here.

Hopefully, people will keep posting posters here for years to come. We have access to digital posters now and digital invitations, but physical paper posters still seem to get the job done. We’re not giving up on them any time soon.

Now That’s A Whiskey Collection

whiskeys are different stages of maturity
Photo Credit: Reddit / Mystic_L
Photo Credit: Reddit / Mystic_L

According to the person who posted this picture, each bottle has whiskey in it from the same cask, but at different stages of maturity. Each bottle is one year older than the last.

The darkest, oldest whiskey at the bottom of the case is the most expensive because whiskey gets smoother as it ages. Time really makes a difference when it comes to this process. Also, the whiskey bottles look emptier the longer they age.

This Is A Little Spooky

outline of people sitting on benches
Photo Credit: Reddit / bradv1977
Photo Credit: Reddit / bradv1977

This bench in Union Station has seen so much traffic that the outline of people has been left on the wall behind it. They’re kind of like ghosts watching you on your commute.

We would say that this wall probably needs a new coat of paint, but then these ghosts would be lost to history forever. We kind of like them where they are. They’re a reminder of travelers past. Some of the people who contributed to these shadows might not even be alive anymore.

I’m Surprised Brick Houses Are Still Standing!

hand holding smooth, eroded brick
Photo Credit: Reddit / SSparkatron98
Photo Credit: Reddit / SSparkatron98

Bricks are supposed to be extremely durable so it’s shocking to see how natural forces can take away all the strength and shape of a brick. Luckily, this happened near a lake and hopefully wouldn’t happen near your house.

Time eats away at all things, and bricks are no exception. Eventually, everything fades away. Time chips at everything we hold dear. That isn’t a very optimistic sentiment, but it’s something that’s becoming clearer as we look through all of these photos.

This Looks A Little Trippy

a well worn trail in a forest
Photo Credit: Reddit / 20WaysToEatASandwich
Photo Credit: Reddit / 20WaysToEatASandwich

This trail is La Meauffe, Manche in France. According to the person who posted it, this trail is indented into the ground so far because it has been used by people passing through for centuries.

This path wasn’t dug by a truck or a bulldozer or any kind of heavy machinery. This is just years of people casually walking over the same spot. In numbers, people really can make a difference. Every single footstep worked to make this trench.

This Looks Like A Scene Out Of A Movie

cars being taken over by natures
Photo Credit: flickr / kaneko amury
Photo Credit: flickr / kaneko amury

This picture was taken in Yakushima, Japan of two abandoned cars. Anytime I see something like this I wonder what the circumstances were that made someone leave their things behind.

Nature totally took over and started swallowing up these cars. You can barely see that yellow car under all of the vegetation. When it comes to nature vs. technology, nature always wins. Technology might be flashy and new, but mother nature is tried and true.

What A Shame!

a drop ceiling put over a chandelier
Photo Credit: Reddit / firemanjoe911
Photo Credit: Reddit / firemanjoe911

This photo was taken from an old building. When they renovated it for a company that was taking over, they used a drop ceiling to cover up these beautiful chandeliers and crown moulding.

Why anybody would cover up such beautiful architectural details is beyond me, but at least all of that moulding and crystal is still intact under the new ceiling. All is not lost. One day somebody will restore this building to its former glory.

This Is Kind Of Strange

a parking lot that was paved where a building used to be
Photo Credit: Reddit / anjack9
Photo Credit: Reddit / anjack9

This parking lot has been worn down from use, but underneath it is a checkered floor from a building that would have been there before. There are no other signs of the building that once existed.

Whoever constructed this parking lot must have thought that it would be easier to just pave over the tiled floor than to try and remove it first. Maybe they should have kept the floor design as a feature of the parking lot.

Follow The Trail!

worn down imprints where children walk
Photo Credit: Reddit / Rory-mcfc
Photo Credit: Reddit / Rory-mcfc

This hill is in Donnelly’s Hollow, Ireland. The little foot holes have been left by generations of children crossing over the hill to get to school or go into town.

The children probably purposefully walk in those footprints like it’s some sort of game, and every time they do, the impressions get even deeper. It’s probably not great for the grass, but it makes a great picture. The kids who started these impressions are probably all grown up now.

Passing Time, Literally

a watch next to its old worn out band
Photo Credit: Imgur
Photo Credit: Imgur

The watch face is the same, but the band has been replaced. They’re the same band, only one is years older and ready to be thrown out. Hopefully, he gets a lot of use out of his new one!

When you wear a strip of leather on your wrist all day every day for years, it’s bound to get t worn down. The leather strap seems to have turned darker and more warm-toned over time.

I Didn’t Know These Would Wear Off

worn down path to the Eiffel tower
Photo Credit: Reddit / Harambe_Is_In_Heaven
Photo Credit: Reddit / Harambe_Is_In_Heaven

This is a very high traffic area. It’s the waiting area to get to the Eiffel Tower in France. The Eiffel Tower is 130 years old! But this landing is not quite that old yet. Still, it’s been around long enough to have the tread on this metal completely worn down.

A lot of people had to turn this corner for this spot to get so shiny and smooth. This spot might even be more interesting than the Eifel Tower.

This Is Crazy!

bullets trapped in a tree, the tree kept growing
Photo Credit: Reddit / Dklem80
Photo Credit: Reddit / Dklem80

Someone cutting down a tree found one with three bullets embedded in the tree. The tree just kept growing around them, proving once again how powerful nature is and how resilient it is to humans.

These bullets were embedded in the outside layer of the tree when they were first fired, but they’ve been sitting there so long that they’re now closer to the middle of the tree. Bullets are no match for living wood.

A Road To Nowhere

an abandoned roadway that's fallen apart
Photo Credit: Reddit / RagnarLothbrok23
Photo Credit: Reddit / RagnarLothbrok23

This abandoned stretch of highway was left to decay. It didn’t take long for nature to start taking over. I wonder if the bridge collapsed all at once or bit by bit.

Either way, this road is definitely not safe to drive on anymore. Forget driving, you shouldn’t even walk on it. Stay away from it altogether. You can see it in this photo and that should be good enough. Nature can be scary sometimes.

Phases Of The Moon

time lapse of the moon phases
Photo Credit: Reddit / iamgulshansingh
Photo Credit: Reddit / iamgulshansingh

This is a series of photos taken of the moon over its 28-day phase. As time passes, it occupies a different place in the sky. I never really notice the change, to me it always seems to be in the same place.

The “S” shaped movement is really quite astounding when you see it mapped out like this. It almost looks like half of an infinity symbol. Our moon is going to be around for half forever, whatever that means.

That Is One Dedicated Bird

25 generations of bird nests in an old unused chimney
Photo Credit: Reddit / GallowBoob
Photo Credit: Reddit / GallowBoob

According to the person who posted this photo, this image is of a bird’s nest that had been built inside an unused chimney. The nest is from over twenty generations of bird families!

It’s not just one nest but nests built on top of nests built on top of nests for generations. Maybe these people should have had their chimney cleaned out sooner. They definitely haven’t been getting too much use out of their fireplace.

The World Has Changed So Much

really old pencils, some were made in West Germany
Photo Credit: Reddit / spodinielri0
Photo Credit: Reddit / spodinielri0

Some of these pencils are old enough that they say they were made in West Germany, which doesn’t exist anymore now that the Berlin Wall has come down and Germany reunited.

The Berlin wall fell in 1991. It’s been over thirty years since these pencils were made. People who were just born when these pencils were made are now in their thirties. These pencils don’t look old at all, though. They’ve aged well. Much better than some of the ’90s babies.

Isn’t This Beautiful?

old artichoke grew into flower
Photo Credit: Reddit / crazyratlady34
Photo Credit: Reddit / crazyratlady34

Someone found an old, dried artichoke and brought it home, only to find it open up into a beautiful flower. Artichokes are a member of the thistle family, which explains it’s prickly look.

When you let artichokes grow past when you would normally pick them if you wanted to eat them,, they actually sprout into gorgeous purple flowers. When you eat an artichoke, you’re eating something that could have been a flower.

Life Is About Growth, Right?

tree that has grown through chain link fence
Photo credit: Reddit / waycokid1129
Photo credit: Reddit / waycokid1129

It’s hard to tell but this tree’s trunk is grown right through the chain-link fence. It almost looks like a goo that has absorbed the metal! Nature does some pretty crazy things.

You can kind of see the parts of the fence that are outside of the tree on the left and right ends of the photo. If you cut this tree down, you would be able to see the fence running through the middle of it.

Like A Candle In The Wind(ow) – Elton John

candle that has been warped from sitting in the sun
Photo credit: Reddit / win10helpme3
Photo credit: Reddit / win10helpme3

And it seems to me, you lived your life, like a candle being warped by the sitting in the sun by a window. Considering candles are wax that is meant to melt, we should have seen this coming.

Let this be a lesson to you. If you have a collection of candles, keep it out of direct sunlight. It’s best to leave them away from windows where the sun can’t get to them. You don’t want your candle to end up like this candle.

Look Closely To See The Change In Hair Color

hair that is black and white stripes from medication
Photo credit: Reddit / QueenChoco
Photo credit: Reddit / QueenChoco

This hair follicle is from someone who takes a certain medication that makes their hair turn white. You can see the change in their hair color as they go on and off the medication.

It’s pretty crazy how our bodies can react to different substances. You wouldn’t even think that grey hair could be a side effect of a medication. This lady is living proof that certain medications can really alter and wreak havoc on your hair follicles.

The Not-So-Magical 8Ball

8ball that lost fluid
Photo credit: Reddit / TheBigBad
Photo credit: Reddit / TheBigBad

This fortune-telling magic 8 ball isn’t so exciting when the fluid starts to evaporate. At least it now gives you some options. Still, it’s just not the answers we needed.

Also, now we know how this thing works. It’s just a many-sided 3D shape inside some dark-colored liquid. You shake it around and whatever end floats face-up is your answer. It’s not the best way to make decisions, but it might be the most fun way.