13 People Answer the Question: “What Do Most People Not Realize Is Newer Than They Actually Think?

You know those things that seem like common knowledge or things that have been around for a long time… but they actually haven’t been?

Of course you don’t know! That’s why you’re reading this post. If you knew, what would be the point of finding out?

Oh… you’re curious about how much you might know? Well, fair enough.

Here are 13 examples of things you might not know have come about more recently than you’d expected.

1. Booze and Babies

The knowledge that it’s bad to drink when pregnant only became widely known in the 80s.

Alcohol isn’t exactly new — the ancient greeks had wine and mead. The temperance movement was active for a good hundred years before they got the 18th Amendment.

But nope.

While there were certainly some alarms raised throughout history, people were surprised to learn about fetal alcohol syndrome in 1973, and it wasn’t confirmed by a second group of researchers until 1979.

In the 60’s through 80’s it was apparently common for doctors to give alcohol intravenously to women to stop premature labor!

2. The day we’ll never forget…

Having to show ID at the US/Canada border.

Prior to 9/11 they often wouldn’t even ask to see a drivers license.


3. Tomato, tomatoe!

Tomatoes are actually a new world crop.

So when you associate Italy with pasta sauce, you’re actually thinking of Italy, post Columbian Exchange (mid 1500s).

And actually, tomato sauce wasn’t even integrated into Italian cuisine until the late 19th century, so go figure.

4. This is why they’d say “The Rabbit Died.”

Home pregnancy tests, in the 1970s.

No longer do we have to inject the lady’s urine into frogs, mice, or rabbits to confirm a pregnancy!

5. Science needs to catch up!

Knowing what the sun is made out of.

I have in my possession an astronomy textbook from the 1890s, it states plainly that the sun is made of fire, and goes out of it’s way to mention a scientist who believes the interior of the sun could be a garden of eden type paradise.

F**king blew my mind.

6. Just 60 years ago!

The theory of plate tectonics.

It pretty much makes up the entire backbone of modern geology, yet it wasn’t actually accepted until the 1960s. Alfred Wegener proposed his theory of continental drift in 1915 but couldn’t explain the mechanism behind it so his theory was dismissed. Over the next few decades, the evidence of crustal movement became undeniable and plate tectonics developed as a theory.

It’s just crazy to me that geologists were pretty much completely clueless until around 60 years ago.

7. Ouch!

Toilet paper as we know it.

Soft, fluffy, and white, right?

Actually, toilet paper that was free of wood splinters didn’t exist until the 1920s.

8. It works!

At home blood glucose monitoring has only been possible since around 1980.

1908 thru 1980, you had to make an appointment with your doctor

I’m a Type 1 diabetic. My brother found an old, late 80s or very early 90s, test kit at a thrift store one time. He thought it would be neat to have, so he bought it for like $3 or something. We got it up and working and wanted to see how accurate it was, since those back then really were just ballpark, and once I put the huge amount of blood it required on the strip, it shut off. So naturally we were disappointed, set it on the counter, and got to doing something else.

Several minutes later it started screeching, and so we checked it and it was giving us my fairly accurate glucose reading. It didn’t turn off or die, it just had a five minute test time!

I often thank God just how far medical technology has come, what with the small drop of blood and 2 second test time I have for my current meter. It’s super easy to get frustrated with diabetes, but I always try to remember just how good I do have it now.

9. Italia!

Italy wasn’t a unified single country until 1871.

Before that, it was a patchwork of small kingdoms and city-states with different local dialects and languages.

As late as 1861, only 2.5 percent of Italians spoke what is now known as standard Italian, which before then was the Florentine dialect of Tuscan.

10. Dino death!

The now commonly-accepted theory that a large meteor caused, or was a major cause of, the extinction of the dinosaurs.

When you watch Fantasia (1940) and see the Rite of Spring sequence, where-in you witness the extinction of the dinosaurs, you see that it’s portrayed as a great drought which was followed by a series of massive earthquakes. That’s because at that time, this was the most accepted idea of what caused the mass extinction.

The theory of the dinosaurs being killed off by a meteor strike (or the effects of said strike on the planet, rather) is called The Alvarez Theory and was first proposed by Luis and Walter Alvarez in the year 1980.

11. Going inside!

Indoor toilets.

My house (London, UK) was built in 1937. It was the first generation of houses to be built with indoor loos. Before then, toilets were in outside rooms.

The house I grew up in had an outside loo, and all the schools I went to as a kid had outside toilets.

They were fine in summer (I grew up in a warmish part of the UK) but bloody chilly in winter.

12. The biggest scam ever

Diamond rings being an engagement gesture.

Only arose in the 1940’s because diamonds were becoming less valuable and the powers at be needed to not let that happen.

They first started out as one month’s salary. Then it changed to two month’s salary.

DeBeers has been sucking people’s cash (needlessly) for this entire time and people still buy into it.


13. Smoking cessation

In 1988, United States based airliners banned smoking on domestic flights of less than two hours duration.

In March 1995, the United States, Canada, and Australia agreed to ban smoking on international flights traveling between those countries.

Can you believe it’s only been 25 years since people were banned from SMOKING on airplanes? Holy moley!

Any of these make you sit up and take notice?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!