Comparison showing newer, smaller, shinier Monopoly pieces vs. their older counterparts
reddit | OverclockingUnicorn

20 Fascinating Ways We Could See Time Do Its Thing

June 10, 2022

I don't need to tell you what the ravages of time can do. After all, we're all getting older, all the time. But you know what else is getting older? The inanimate (and sometimes mysterious) objects we surround ourselves with.

There's nothing we can do to stop the inexorable march of time. All we can do is take note of stuff gradually getting older, and eventually peruse listicles that deal with said topic.

"The trackpad on my 7-year-old laptop got worn to a mirror shine where I use it."

Laptop trackpad worn to a mirror shine by 7 years of use
reddit | samrus

This phenomenon seems to happen with all sorts of laptop touchpads. Maybe it's the specific type of plastic or something. Since this thing is a Thinkpad, it's a safe bet that it's got at least seven more years of use left.

"Recently inherited kitchen knife."

Knife blade worn away almost completely by repeat sharpenings
reddit | silentanthrx

Knives — even really good, high quality knives — have an expiration date. If you're sharpening them as often as you're supposed to (it's every one to two months, don't'cha know), the blade will wear down over time. When your blade starts looking like this, it's time to look for a new knife.

"I work outside, a hat usually lasts me about a month. New one on the right."

Two hats showing significant wear compared to a new hat
reddit | PhantomOfDeezNutz

I once had a hat that looked like the one on the left or in the middle, but it only got that way after, like, ten years of use. Maybe this person should invest in higher-quality hats.

"You can see what the trucks did to the asphalt."

Truck lanes on highway show visible wear compared to other lanes
reddit | ainm7sn

Of course, cars are free to drive in the right lanes. But trucks must drive in the right lanes (most of the time, anyway) while cars are free to roam. You can really see the damage done by all the extra weight traveling in certain lanes.

"Many games of euchre played on these bar tables: southwest Wisconsin."

Bar tables worn down by many card games
reddit | Maligned-Instrument

If you live in certain parts of the Midwest, you've probably played a few games of euchre in your time. I mean, these tables could have been worn down by any card game, but in this case, you just know it's euchre.

"The roads of Pompeii show the wheel tracks of the chariots after centuries of them passing through…"

Chariot wheel tracks visible in roads of Pompeii
reddit | royhy

It's fascinating, and almost shocking, to see evidence of something that happened in ancient times. Like, a 200-year-old historical cottage is one thing, but straight-up chariot tracks from 2,000 years ago is on another level.

"Forestry takes a beating on pants. These wore really evenly and both sides broke on the same day."

Pant cuffs of forestry worker worn away
reddit | peakcrystallization

I wonder what it is about this line of work that seems to take such a toll on the cuffs of pants. I guess this guy could wear shorts, but the work might do worse stuff to his bare ankles.

"This flip phone my dad used 'til the front became transparent."

Well-used flip phone
reddit | RedditjaaA

Modern smartphones are great and all, but there's a reason so many of us are nostalgic for the indestructible, brick-like dumbphones of the late '90s and early aughts: they basically never broke, no matter how much abuse you put them through.

"I’ve made two burgers every week for 7 years. It shows."

Oven pan showing the effects of 7 years of burger cooking
reddit | Taffffy

Nothing against burgers, but surely this person could find something different to cook in this pan. I mean, we've all been in culinary ruts, but this one seems to be a rut of epic proportions.

"I’ve been using this Lego to hook my keys to the wall for over 7 years."

Lego keychain worn smooth after 7 years of use
reddit | BigBrainData

I wonder if they make these Lego novelty items with the same care that they make actual Lego bricks with. I'm actually a little surprised a Lego product would get this badly worn.

"I may have waited a little too long to change my scrub daddy."

Two kitchen scrubbers: one brand new, the other well worn
reddit | misschanandlerrbong

I think this person waited the perfect amount of time to replace this scrubber. Rule of thumb: when your smiley scrubbies start frowning at you, it's time to pitch them.

"Generations of deer rubbing their antlers on the only 'tree' for miles."

Small tree worn down by deer rubbing their antlers on it
reddit | darwinpatrick

I feel bad for the deer that frequent this field. They only have one tree to enjoy, and if this pic is any indication, the tree isn't going to be around for too much longer.

"Ziploc baggie for my lunch cookies. No holes, zipper still works. 1.5 years of use and still going strong."

Ziploc baggie after 1.5 years of continuous use
reddit | home_cheese

It's kind of cool to see the resilience of this baggie, and we should reuse things rather than creating new plastic waste. Still, maybe it's time to throw this one out. It's been long enough.

"Found some change that had been in the brushes in the clothes dryer."

Coins worn smooth after being stuck in a clothes dryer
reddit | mooseaura

If there's one thing I've learned about coins, it's that they're impervious to all abuse except for the kind that's inflicted by trains or laundry equipment. Some of these coins are almost illegible.

"The wear on my laptop keybord (I'm a full-time author)."

Laptop keyboard with significant wear on many keys
reddit | SeverBronny

I'm a full-time...well, not an author, but I do write a few thousand words a day. I'm not sure if this author mashes the keys really hard or just has a particularly soft laptop keyboard.

"Museum shows the effects of human touch on different surfaces."

Museum exhibit showing the effect of human touch on different materials
reddit | Mr_Killface

This is a fun museum exhibit that hides its true purpose: convincing people that they should really not touch the artifacts they see in a museum because it'll mess things up.

"Was at the beach and found a shell with barnacles on it that makes it look like an anatomically correct heart."

Cluster of shells and barnacles that looks almost exactly like a human heart
reddit | Cascading-hearts98

I couldn't draw a human heart from memory, but one look at this and I instantly saw a human heart.


Statue of a man with a shiny butt from all the people who've touched it
reddit | throwawaygamh

Bronze statues get naturally darker over time, except for the areas where they're being touched most frequently, which remain shiny. A statue of a dog might remain shiny on the nose, while a statue of a man remains shiny on, uh, his butt.

"A spider came back to molt in the same place on a book 4 times."

Four spider exoskeletons shed on the same book
reddit | Yoddlydoddly

Most of us probably know that insects have exoskeletons, and the same holds true for arachnids like spiders. It's actually pretty cool to find the exoskeleton (or four!) from a spider that's just finished molting.

"Old vs. new Monopoly pieces."

Comparison showing newer, smaller, shinier Monopoly pieces vs. their older counterparts
reddit | OverclockingUnicorn

You can see how weathered the metal has become on the older pieces. You can also see how big and satisfying the old pieces were. Note to Hasbro: bring back the clunky, heavy Monopoly pieces at once.