40+ Fascinating Examples of How Things Change Over Time
Time changes everything day by day. However, its effects can be so slow that we barely notice them. The way people dress and talk, what they eat, how they style their hair or their homes, how they interact with one another, and even what they do for fun – all can change drastically but so slowly that we don’t even notice.
Many parts of life have changed significantly in just the last few decades. It’s incredible to see examples of how our environment has changed throughout time, and when you find a striking one, it can fill you with a sense of awe and wonder. To help you find those wondrous feelings, we’ve gathered 40 incredible photographs that show the fascinating effects of time. Enjoy!
1. When Nature Starts to Promote Responsible Hiking
Through the eyes of a child, this tree is quite magical. It was a signpost for hikers before, but now it’s grown to be so much more. It feels like Mother Nature herself has planted this thing to be a breathing reminder that we should love and take care of nature.
Nature provides many reasons to get out and hike. This incredible photo unbelievably serves as a sign to go out and enjoy the beauty of nature responsibly. It might thrill you, but you will also learn an important lesson thanks to seeing this tree.
2. Petting The Dog
This plaque on the Charles Bridge has seen better days. Funny enough, the discolored sections on this piece of art are confined solely to around the dog figure.
This of course is due to people not being able to resist the temptation to pet the dog. Yes, even an artistic rendering of one. If you were to pass by this piece of art, would you pet the dog too? We can only image what a few more decades will do to the look and color of this plaque.
3. Incredible Rust or Abstract Tattoo?
You would be forgiven for assuming this photo is an abstract tattoo. Take a closer look! Were you able to see it? It’s not a tattoo but a round metal post with rust on its surface. The oxidized metal coil and cord converted into something spectacular – an incredible creation of nature mixed with time.
This rust pattern is a perfect example of what nature can do with a little help from the passage of time. These intricate details are sure to have passersby captivated by the simple but beautiful design, making them feel like they’re looking at an actual piece of art up close.
4. The Lone Car in the Forbidden Dark Forest
There are always rumors about what lies in the dark forest. Some say it is filled with vampires; others think there’s a castle or treasure trove hidden among its trees and rocks. This lone car in the forbidden and dark forest has been abandoned for decades.
It was once a mystery as to why it was left there, but this person in the photo is the long-lost owner. He left his first car in the forest because it was broken. Seeing this car alone in the distance might scare you. It seems to be calling out for someone to come and revive it.
5. Love for Pac-Man
We’ve all heard the story of Pac-Man, a small yellow circle trapped in an arcade who must eat as many dots and power pellets as he can while being chased by ghosts. Seeing this old screen brings back memories of how much fun people used to have playing it.
Anyone who played this video game had a wonderful experience! Although many people may not believe how much fun it could be back then due to the more advanced technology available now, just about everyone knows what an icon PACMAN has become.
6. Worn Windmill
These old steps bear the history of every step that was taken to the top of this magnificent structure. While the stairs might be a bit worn down, they’re still sturdy enough to walk up and enjoy the beautiful view up there.
This small detail is all that remains to show people’s history with it. As people walk down the last few steps of this worn staircase, they are adding their own trace to these relics of history that have borne the weight of so many other travelers.
7. Traces of History
A surprise appeared in the form of bricks that are almost as old as time itself. It’s amazing how history exists deep beneath our feet, even if we don’t always realize it or notice it. It’s fascinating to see these antique artifacts of the past.
Each day, as we pass our houses, we can all take a moment to reflect on how far civilization has progressed. Here’s a history lesson you’ll never forget – the cobbled road and tram tracks of yesteryear are now buried in pavement.
8. A Trail of History
Historical artifacts come in many forms, including books, paintings, statues, and even old clothing. This old driver’s license is likely to be the only one of its kind you will find floating around today!
Ever wanted to take a piece of history with you wherever you go? Every time someone’s identity changes, they leave behind another little piece that connects them to what came before. This antique artifact surfaced after more than a century of being hidden. One can feel the history just by looking at it.
9. A Smooth Brick Wall
Yes, this is indeed a piece of a brick wall. After a chunk of bricks in Ireland fell into the sea, the salty ocean water began to reshape this brick wall piece over time.
It’s truly incredible what nature can do. The smooth and oval shape of the old brick wall is fascinating to view as it seamlessly blends in with the smooth sea rocks around it.
10. Old Crossword Puzzle Board
This photo of a clipboard doesn’t seem special at first, but what lies beneath is much more intriguing. A woman’s passion for solving newspaper crossword puzzles has resulted in thousands of words remaining on this clipboard.
The board itself could be your all-time favorite puzzle from history. It’s a treasure worth holding onto for as long as you can. All that ink is the result of thousands of questions being answered day after day.
11. The Last Thermos You'll Ever Need
The Stanley thermos on the left is surely an old friend. The person who used it faithfully for decades deserves all the respect in the world for their commitment to this loyal mug that would warm up coffee every morning before college and work.
It is thoroughly impressive considering that this old, durable thermos was built with only one goal in mind: serving its owner faithfully. Do you think that this new replacement can match half of the service this loyal heater has given?
12. Just A Dog And His Car
This pup loves nothing more than sticking his head out the car window on long rides and taking in the glorious breeze. By the looks of this image it seems as though this dog has been assuming this same enjoyable position all of his life.
Over time as the dog’s paws hang out of the car window, the friction and rubbing against the door seems to have taken off the paint job along with it. Luckily, the owner doesn’t seem to mind much. Cars are replaceable. Your furry best friend is not.
13. Rainbow Worms
Your mouth may have watered when you saw this colorful rainbow candy. The drips look like gummy worms, but if this was sweet and delicious, we doubt it would have been left to accumulate on a bench like that.
It is a spectacular sight to see! However, these sweet-looking treats are rainbow stalactites formed by years of dripping dye. They’re beautiful, but we wouldn’t recommend snacking on them.
14. Layers of Paint Make An Intriguing Design
This fascinating image resembles that of a tree stump. The interesting thing about tree stumps is that they reveal a tree’s age as each individual ring represents a year of time.
Similarly to the rings of a tree, this image of a paint stick also tells the story of the passage of time. Each ring of paint represents a new idea and project. The painter who used this stirring stick must have been quite the artist as so many layers of paint have accumulated over the years. Can you spot the original stir stick in the center?
15. Trespassing Sign Gets Eaten By A Tree
You might think this sign is just a rash attempt at scaring people, but that’s not the case. The imposing warning is not enough for these trespassers who are lured by their curiosity and want to see what’s beyond the sketchy signs.
The sign looks like a tasty snack to the tree. Who would want to see the horror of a tree swallowing up trespassing signs? Indeed, this tree seems to be suggesting that perhaps the people who put up the sign are also trespassing on the tree’s property!
16. Shrinking Slides
This is what happens if you leave one of your slides in an extremely hot situation for too long. The once-cushy slipper lost its comfort thanks to extended exposure to the sun.
The air has removed all the moisture from it. This poor thing couldn’t be worn anymore now. The owner needs to buy new slippers. The next time you’re thinking of leaving shoes in your car on a hot day, stop and think about what might happen.
17. Well Played
This piano was sitting in the corner of a room, dusty and untouched. The only thing on it that showed some signs of wear were finger impressions on the keys. It looks like no one has played this instrument for years, but back in its heyday, it was one popular instrument.
The fingerprints are proof of a time long ago when someone danced their fingers across all these keys to create beautiful music. It is now a musical imprint that echoes through time, whispering secrets about the past.
18. Old Knob, New Life
For the past 20 years, this person’s old shift knob has been hiding a new life underneath. It was such a sad moment when they realized that it had finally reached its demise. However, when they retired it, they found an incredible surprise underneath.
All things do indeed come to an end, but when you least expect it, something good can happen. Beneath the worn-out leather was another shift knob – in perfect condition. What an amazing thing to find.
19. Skateboarding Has Never been so Cool
Skateboards are a traditional form of transportation for many people, and they provide the opportunity to express yourself creatively. What if you could have a design that changes over time? It has been made possible with this deck!
The graphics on these decks change as they get scratched off by use or exposure to sunlight. This skateboard deck is no ordinary board. It’s also durable enough that it doesn’t scratch away without good reason – the beauty lies in its stunning combination of simplicity and creativity.
20. Amazing Bricks that Are Nearly 300 Years Old
If you are looking for a footrest that will last forever, look no further – this one is made of bricks. This bar’s footrest is decades old, and the worn texture of the aged bricks speaks volumes about the hardiness the material possesses.
Bricks are highly affected by moisture as they are porous. They will swell and shrink as they adjust to the change in temperature or humidity around them. Bricks may be tough and adaptable, but they can still be worn away by decades of having people dragging their shoes across them.
21. Salt Water Is a Powerful Force
Salty water can create wondrous things. The rusted pieces of metal in the photos might look like they belong on a boat, but they’re actually part of a fence near the shore. When there’s rough weather on the sea – which is inevitable from time to time – the seawater washes up, flowing through the pickets of this fence.
The fact this thing changed its appearance over time is truly an unbelievable sight to see. It goes to show how magical every moment can be with nature and time on your side.
22. The Easy Way to Make Your Home Look Like New
It’s incredible how much dust can collect on windowsills that haven’t been cleaned in decades. The dust and grime that accumulate on the surfaces of a home dull its shine. As you can see from the image below, a dirty house looks old and unpleasant due to how much detail is lost amidst all the dirt.
Dirty homes need some tender love and care. You may be overwhelmed at the thought of doing it, but if these workers can reverse the actions of time and make these houses look new again, then there’s proof that it can be done.
23. It's Not Concrete Anymore
What is the mystery behind this concrete floor that wants to be a natural creek bed? It seems that whoever laid the concrete decided to fill it with stones to make the job more economical. As the water from the drain slowly eroded the surface over time, this beautiful pattern was revealed.
Though it’s natural for workers to want to save money and for water to erode things over time, it’s amazing that these forces combined to create such a work of art. Mother Nature would be proud.
24. The Pen Addict's Top 10 Pens of All Time
As a student, this person can’t imagine the horror of not having enough pens. Every pen enthusiast needs a reliable fountain pen to carry with them at all times. Every single pen in this collection has an impressive history and has its own unique story behind it.
Pens are essential, and there is no way to overstate how much this individual relies upon them as part of their daily routine. Most people would lose dozens of pens a year, but this person has managed to preserve all of them, spent cartridges and all!
25. The True King of the Jungle
This building’s facade is slowly transforming into the head of a lion. At first glance, it may take you a while to see this, but once you do, you’ll see how amazing it is! The way the rain has washed away some of the white paint reveals something else.
Can you see the head with fangs snarling at you? It is an unexpected sight, for sure. It’s like he has been waiting patiently for someone to come by and notice him! Finally, the king of the jungle has been revealed!
26. Stepping Back in Time
This floor has seen generations of customers come and go. The old, tattered brown tiles are still intact. It was freshly vacuumed every week by a diligent owner who loved his job, despite how monotonous it became over time.
People would still have no idea that many generations have stepped on this floor if it weren’t for the footprints left by every member of those generations. With every step, people carry with them the footsteps of those who walked before them.
27. Three Generations… of Hats
The interesting part about this photograph is how a collection spanning decades could be so loyal to the same brand. The owner of these hats has clearly been a loyal fan of Menard for decades.
People have been fascinated by hats since they were first invented. Some think that hat collectors only do so for fashion, but there is always a story behind every collection. A cap’s physical appearance may change over time, but the memories it has are irreplaceable.
28. Cat's Love for Bench Legs
Cats have a lot on their minds: grooming fur, sleeping 22 hours per day – who needs anything else? Well, there is one exception. When they’re not being lazy in the sun or chasing mice, cats love nothing more than scratching furniture!
This cat has been around for 12 years, and one of her favorite spots to scratch is this bench leg. This adorable kitty clearly spends every single day scratching at this leg. Cats have sensitive paws, and they love working their claws into whichever item of furniture in the house is your favorite.
29. A Coin that Survived the Test of Time
This old coil waited over 60 years for the perfect moment to be discovered. It was such an amazing surprise, and though it has certainly seen better days, its worn-out surface is evidence of all the adventures it went on.
The story of this 1960s-era dime would be a tale worth hearing. Too bad it’s not in better condition. Regardless of what shape it may be in, it’s cool to find a coin in your pocket that has been around for decades.
30. From Generation to Generation
This door has been opened and closed by different generations for over 50 years. Despite the banging, the door stands sturdy as steel and stunning in red. Every time someone walks through this door, they will be reminded of the history of the place.
A young visitor to this shop made sure that future generations could enjoy its beauty by using a smartphone to take a picture. It’s easy to see how much of an impact this has had on younger generations. You can now share this with everyone who’s fascinated by how things change over time.
31. The Oldest Barbershop in Town
Hundreds of people have entered this barbershop over the years, looking for a haircut or shave. It has been around for decades and is one of those landmarks that you can’t miss as you walk down the street. To this day, the barbershop is still one of the most iconic places in its neighborhood.
The walls are filled with pictures and memories, and every chair in this small shop has supported dozens of people since it opened its doors. The round stains on the floor signify how many years this shop has been serving the town.
32. The Ocean is Coming
Sea air can be a good thing or a bad thing. When the breeze is gentle, it’s one of life’s most pleasant experiences, but when the wind picks up to gale-force speeds, things get ugly, like this knob in the photo!
The salt in those ocean waves is harsh on property. It’ll slowly corrode anything out there! Salt is always blowing in from the ocean, and the houses near coastal areas must stand against the salty breeze that is coming to damage them day by day.
33. A New Generation of Teddy Bears is Here
When you were a kid, did your teddy bear always have to be the first one on the bed? Did it ever go missing, only to show back up again when least expected? Sometimes, it feels as though they have lives of their own.
This photo features an assortment of bears spanning the past two decades, and no matter how much time has passed, each one still holds special meaning. Children often cherish and care for their bears more than anything else, even as they grow up.
34. A History of Vibration
Back-and-forth movement over short distances caused this stainless steel bolt to look like an hourglass. You never know what might happen when vibration gets to play freely. This force of nature can have incredible effects over time.
Vibrations are far more common than you would believe. In every wave, people are reminded that vibrating motions happen all around us, even if they are not visible to human eyes. It is a reminder of how vibrations can change things in the world, including ourselves.
35. The Most Terrifying Halloween Decoration Ever
Since we’re nearing Halloween season again, many families decorate their houses with pumpkins that aren’t quite big enough for carving yet. As you can see from the picture below, even carved pumpkins are affected by the endless procession of time.
It’s surprising how it survives so long without wilting or rotting like any other plant in nature would have done. It’s almost like the pumpkin was mummified or petrified. Perhaps figuring this out and replicating it would be an interesting Halloween science experiment!
36. You Can Never Go Wrong With a Dog
In this photo is the ID tag of a 13-year old family dog. It’s still in wonderful shape. However, you can see that it lived an active life. Though this tag is old, its puppy-dog owner is still alive and faithfully serving his family.
People will always have a special love for their dogs. A dog is a friend who stands by during the most difficult times in your life; a friend who will continue to show up at your door. Everyone should consider the dog to be a cherished part of their family unit.
37. Lap Dog
It is not uncommon for dogs to run around in circles. Experts believe it means something, but nobody knows what exactly that meaning could be. This doggy has been circling this swimming pool for years, running laps of its own personal Olympic stadium.
He must have some serious staying power to keep up with this routine. The energetic dog can’t hide his excitement and can’t seem to find anything that interests him in his house or yard. So long as he’s happy, we’re happy.
38. The Secret to Success is Staying Sharp
You may not realize it, but knives get dull with time. This lovely photo of an old blade that has been sharpened for 41 years emphasizes the importance of maintaining your blades in order for them to perform at their best.
Just like this blade, the secret to maintaining your value is to hone your skills daily. The most successful people are always working hard and constantly improving their craft, whatever it may be. This makes them stand out from the crowd because they’re consistently making progress.
39. The Oldest Chain in the World
There are many ways to make something look beautiful, whether for this moment or forever. You can see how nature has taken over this old chain that was once used as a decoration long ago. Nature is truly amazing.
It’s now rusted away into an appealing brown color, with some parts turning black as they age. This piece of metal has been worn down by nature, but it would be a shame if we just left it hidden.
40. Don't Miss the Best Hidden Gem in Tallinn
This rug has mastered the art of stealth. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is blend in. This rug in Tallinn blends in with the floor so perfectly that few people notice it until it’s pointed out to them.
Do you want to know how long this has been there? The answer is decades. If you’re looking for a rug that will last for a long time, this might be it! Indeed, if you visit this town, you’ll find that many people know and love this stealthy rug.
41. The 10 Year Challenge For Dogs
Dogs are said to be the best companions a person could have. The markings on this puppy have gradually faded over nearly ten years. Its face markings have faded to the point that they are no longer visible! However, that sweet expression hasn’t changed a bit.
The dog is now a cute old pup with a white forehead and brows to match! The forehead may have wrinkles from all of those happy memories, but its smile is still bright. It only proves how a dog changes over time.
42. The Story of a Pet Donkey Statue
This museum has a donkey for you to pet! You’ll have the chance to see how authentic this piece of art is and feel what happens when people are allowed to touch a work of art. The donkey sculpture was specifically bought for people who visit this art exhibit.
The shiny areas show where visitors’ fingers have worn away its original bumpy surface, which used to be a dark brown. Now, it has a lighter color because it has been touched by so many curious visitors.
43. You Will Never Look at Water the Same Way Again
What if every single drop of water was falling on the same spot for centuries? What would happen to it then? Every little droplet counts, and that’s what this stone slab perfectly shows. This slab that’s been blasted by rain for decades, and its resilience shows.
Not only is it an example of how powerful nature can be, but it’s also a reminder that even something as soft and gentle as water can have a powerful impact with time, patience, and persistence.
44. Chopstick Grooves
It’s refreshing to see that some places preserve their dishes, even when they’re not perfect anymore. After years of spoons being rested against its rim (and dare we say, perhaps a few bumps and falls), this bowl has seen better days. But its chips and grooves give it character.
Fixing broken and dented bowls is important because it can contribute greatly to the world. It will prevent unnecessary waste from being created and save our planet’s natural resources for future generations to enjoy. People should get behind this kind of idea.