We too often take the passing of time for granted. After all, its effects on everyday objects are rarely visible – at least in the moment. Occasionally, though, it’s easy to see just how much of an impact time has had on something. Whether it’s a well-worn coin or a table that’s seen better days, these 20 items all clearly show the ravages of time – and they’re absolutely astonishing.
20. This faded floor
Humans are great at routines. And when your job involves the routine of moving around the same chair day after day, chances are you’re going to get pretty consistent with your movements. Just take these barbers, for instance, who have traced nearly perfect semi-circles around their clients over the years.
19. This pillowcase
You may not believe it, but these Star Wars pillowcases are reportedly four decades old. The only difference is that one has been in a closet all that time, while the other has apparently been used almost daily. You’ve got to admire the commitment to the fandom, but we think it might be time to upgrade to a newer one.
18. This textured floor
Once upon a time, the entire floor of this Parisian train was textured with the same circular pattern you can see around the base of the pole. Now, though, it’s been worn away to the point that it’s nearly smooth. That’s a lot of feet over the years…
17. This stuffed cat
Both of these cats were bought in 1995, according to redditor Connguy, but one has been kept in pristine condition for more than two decades. It’s not hard to tell which is which; just look how much fluffier the one on the left is. But really, that’s just testament to how well loved the other cat was.
16. These knives
Despite what your eyes may be telling you, these are actually all models of the same knife. The only differences are that they’ve each had varying levels of use over a period of three years. And it’s astonishing to see how not only the blades, but also the handles have diminished in that time.
15. These bodily imprints
No, this isn’t a group of ghosts sitting on a train platform. It’s actually the culmination of years of people resting against the wall. And if you try not to think about the amount of oils and grease needed to leave those imprints, it’s quite incredible.
14. This LEGO keyring
“The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.” If this is what happens to dark side users over the years, it’s hard to argue with Emperor Palpatine. After all, this LEGO Darth Vader keyring has definitely seen better days.
13. This bracket
Time has truly taken its toll on this bracket, which looks perilously close to snapping off. We wouldn’t be quick to hang anything too heavy on it for fear that that could be the time it finally gives way! But it really does make you think about how much must have been hung on it over the years…
12. This silver dollar
You have to wonder whether this coin would even pass for legal tender in this condition. Of course, there’d be no point trying nowadays, as its value as silver far outweighs its monetary value. But spending 20 years in someone’s pocket has certainly left a lasting effect on it.
11. This building
The brickwork on the corner of this building looks like it’s been struck by a massive, heavy object. But it’s actually just been hit by bike pedals – over the course of three decades. Yes, this is the corner of a bike shop, and 30 years of customers’ pedals colliding with the wall on their way past has worn away the bricks.
10. And this building
This building hasn’t suffered a terrible fire; it’s just seemingly never been cleaned. After all, look what these guys have uncovered beneath all that grime and dirt: beautiful, pristine stonework. Somehow, we reckon the value of these apartments may have just shot up.
9. This brick wall
We’re not quite sure how an entire brick wall ended up on a pebble beach, but the fact is that it did. And, over time, the sea has eroded and disfigured the solid, rectangular masonry. It almost looks like a soft, pliable putty, which is really messing with our heads.
8. This bench leg
Buy your cat a bed, and it’ll sleep in the box that it came in. Buy your cat a scratching post, and it’ll still carry on using the same old bench leg. Or at least, you have to assume that’s what happened here. You see, this is the product of 10 years of scratching, and the difference next to the other leg is astonishing.
7. This man’s face
While we’re all personally susceptible to the ravages of time, they appear to have hit this truck driver a little harder than most – at least on one side of his face. Yes, 28 years of driving has exposed just the left side of his face to increased sunlight. And the UV rays have taken a remarkable toll…
6. This weathered stone
When considered over thousands of years, erosion is a powerful force. And it’s staggering to think that a mere trickle of water could do this to a material as typically strong as stone. But then again, water is itself a very powerful substance. All it needs is time.
5. This wooden floor
Standing in the same spot night after night for a quarter century can have quite the impact. Need proof? Just look at the literal footprint this monk has left in his wooden flooring, simply from his daily prayers. Who would have thought a material as strong as wood would soften away like this?
4. This table
It may look like this table has a cool pattern on it, but it was actually a solid piece of wood originally. Yes, it’s simply endured years of people sitting around it, playing cards. And the result is so incredible that it almost appears intentional.
3. This leather bench
Sometimes, the ravages of time can highlight amusing patterns in human behavior. Take this bench, for instance, which tells its own story: nobody ever sat next to each other, instead always leaving a space in between them. This is why the seats at either end are so well worn, while the middle looks brand new.
2. This bank floor
If you’ve ever felt like you’ve spent half your life waiting in line, this floor is the proof of the pudding. Yes, it’s remarkably clear where people have been standing while waiting to speak to a bank teller. But we’re more surprised that the bank hasn’t redone the floor simply to hide its long wait times.
1. These coins
If you’ve ever wanted to capture the effects of time in a single photo, this would be the way to do it. After all, these coins show a clear progression from pristine condition to copper that’s felt the ravages of time all too dearly – and seeing the stark difference between the first and last coins is absolutely incredible.