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People Break Down Which Historical Facts Keep Them Up At Night

Reddit user kenwayfan asked: 'What historic fact keeps you awake at night?'

Roman soldiers marcing
Heinz Schneider/Unsplash

Discovering historical achievements that paved the way for brighter futures can be awe-inspiring.

Equally, learning about the many atrocities endured by humankind like war and natural disasters can also be heartbreaking.

For that reasons, it's no wonder why history is not a favorite school subject.

But learning about the past can serve as valuable lessons, even the the most unsettling ones.

Curious to hear from strangers online, Redditor kenwayfan asked:

"What historic fact keeps you awake at night?

Not everything remains preserved.

Clueless About Our Ancestors

"How little of human history was recorded or survived the ages. Modern humans have been around 300,000 years. Recorded history only goes back to the 4th-5th millenium BCE."

"Uncounted humans lived, loved, suffered, created, and died for 60-70x the time of all recorded history."

– YNot1989

Wiping Out The Past

"The fire that destroyed the former royal castle Tre Kronor in Stockholm in 1697. The fire destroyed the state archives, wiping out about half a millennium of written sources on Swedish history."


Vanished Civilization

"The Bronze age collapse. Around 3200 years ago nearly all ancient civilizations in the eastern mediterranean and Near East region were wiped out in a widespread event/societal collapse that was likely sudden and violent and followed by the Greek Dark Ages and nobody really knows what happened. It just blows my mind."


Defining Moment In Time

"The people who lived when the Roman Empire fell didn't know that the Roman Empire was falling. Such a thing could only be seen in hindsight."

"We never know if we live in such times."

– Ryokan76

Redditors discuss other species that inhabited our planet long before us.

Rulers Of The Kingdom

"Dinosaurs evolved millions of years before flowering plants. Blows my mind."

– OpportunityHorror

Grass Was Greener On The Other Side Of History

"Grass also evolved after the non-avian dinosaurs (i.e. not birds) went extinct. This means that when studios are making dinosaur documentaries, they need to find a place that doesn't have grass or have a way to prevent grass from showing up on their footage. Apparently this was an issue that BBC had to deal with when they were making Walking with Dinosaurs over 20 years ago.


Killer Plants

"Even better, there are theories that the sudden existence and proliferation of flowering plants actually caused a mass extinction. See the thing is that before flowers, plants couldn’t recombine their DNA nearly as quickly. But pollination is basically plant sex, and caused these plants to evolve quickly."

"The amount of new biomes they were able to overtake and the amount of hitherto unknown toxins they made as defense destroyed entire existing ecosystems. Much of the biodiversity we have today stems from this evolution."


– unhinged_gay

Things get crazier when put in perspective.

Travel Time

"Four hundred years ago, a trip from Europe to America took two months. Now it takes between seven to thirteen hours."

– Michdr2

"The silly thing is, 40 years ago, it only took 3 hours."

– DarkNinjaPenguin

In Between Major Achievements

"Man went from the first flight in 1903 to landing on the moon - Apollo 11 in 1969. That was a period of 66 years."

"That was 54 years ago."

– Briglin

Within A Lifetime

"My grandma was born in 1899 and died in 2001. She was 4 when the Wright Brothers did their Kitty Hawk thing and was 70 when there was a giant leap for mankind. Still blows my mind."

– Feequess

View From Afar

"The Webb telescope has the power to see up to 13.5 billion light years away. The earth is about 4.5 billion years old. That means the Webb telescope is taking pictures of things that happened 9 billion years before the earth even existed."

– HoopOnPoop

"Idea: send the Webb Telescope billions of light years away, point it back at earth, watch in real time the Romans fight barbarians."

– SheriffHopper

Advancement In Weaponry

"The time between copper swords and steel swords is longer then the time between steel swords and atomic bombs."

– HerpinDerpNerd12

The human race endures.


"All of us are alive because some prehistoric person somehow survived impossible odds."

– homechicken20

"Honestly there have been times I've lost my mind thinking about the reality of like, my grandfather's grandfather. I knew my grandpa very well right into my early adulthood, but his grandfather was born in the mid-1800s and we have no photos of him. But he was a real guy with nuances and dreams, formative experiences, jokes, the excitement of falling in love, earning enough money to survive, etc. And he was as closely related to my grampa as the latter to me."

– -paraprax-

New People In Town

"It doesn't keep me up at night, but it's an interesting fact: The oldest person alive right now is 116 years and some days. That means that 117 years ago, every single person on this planet was different. In other words, a whole new set of people are here. 117 years was not that long ago."

– TooCool9092


Remember that history is being made today and every day.

Make today count... because who knows?

The people who don't yet exist can be talking and learning about us and of our achievements–however great or small.