15 Things Our Ancestors Accomplished That’s Actually Impressive When You Think About It

If there’s one thing that’s true when you look back through history, it’s that human beings have (obviously) found ways to persevere. We wouldn’t be here otherwise!

What’s more amazing is all of the ways they found to thrive, push boundaries, and think outside the box – and these 15 accomplishments are nothing short of impressive!

15. Definitely the buildings and architecture.

Y’all gotta look up these two things: The Ajanta Caves and Anasazi Cities.

Basically the Ajanta Caves are these caves in India where Hindu, then Buddhist, and Jain monks lived.

They carved these stunning statues and temples of many different faiths into the rock. It’s mind blowing.

The Anasazi basically carved their cities into the sides of mountains, Western Air Temple style (except not upside down)

14. With all kinds of terrifying beasts.

Survived while Short Faced Bears roamed the earth.

13. Art is the universal language.

The cave paintings of Lascaux. Up to 20,000 years old (by comparison, Egypt is just 5,000 years old), yet very complex and artistic, painted underground.

Supposedly when viewed in certain light, the animals seem to move.

12. But we seriously thank them.

Cheese, wtf??

Who the hell thought that consuming moldy cow juice that sat in a container for months would be fine?

11. They needed a way to get protein.

How they all, at some point, discovered the bow. Even with no connections to other continents, they all figured out a piece of string connected to two ends of a piece of wood could make arrows fly farther.

10. You do what you gotta do.

Some of my family lost everything in Georgia during the Civil War. Afterwards, rather than stay there, they walked to East Texas. They were so poor that they didn’t have a horse and wagon, or even a human powered push cart. I’m talking at least 700 miles on foot.

It was my teenaged great great grandmother, along with her parents and siblings.

9. Yeah but everyone smelled, so…


Hygiene and grooming really didn’t hit its stride until the early 20th century.

8. Imagine all of that math.

I’m taking a statistics class. There are plenty of formulas that neatly and simply do large amounts of calculations effortlessly.

Then I think someone had to figure out the formula, and solve all of these hundreds of micro equations perfectly to prove it worked. And I punch like five buttons to do what took them hours or days

7. People gotta eat.

Figured out what was edible and not.

They had some balls to just be like “well I’m hungry so let’s see if this shit is good”

6. It’s depressing what happened to them.

The Inca empire is freaking insane.

People don’t realize just how big it was. Like Genghis Khan’s or the Ottoman Empire’s size, but it was comprised almost entirely of isolated villages in some of the least traversable mountains in the world. Add to that the construction throughout Peru, where very precisely cut stones were fitted together without any mortar holding them together, and the walls/buildings are, for the most part, still standing in pristine condition today.

In general, the indigenous people of the Americas did some of the most amazing things in human history. It’s a shame that they’re generally thought of (inaccurately) as just small clans of people roaming around the plains hunting bison.

5. Basically we’ll eat anything.

The human body is ridiculously tolerant of so many poisons.

How often do you hear that you can’t feed this to your cat, or that to your dog. But we can eat grapes, onions, etc by the truckload!

Nicotine and caffeine are both natural pesticides that we put in our bodies because we like what they do to us!

4. Why did they do it?

I seriously cant believe people were willing to fight wars the way they did and literally just smash one big group into another big group and see who lived.

also build anything like the pyramids or great temples without modern equipment.

3. Definitely takes some courage.

Create fire on purpose.

I mean, whoa.

2. We really are lucky.

Greeks were able to estimate pi and figure out its irrationality (though you’d be basically removed from civic circles if you suggested as much) 2000+ years ago without any sort of calculator.

1. Not to mention figuring out how to water it.

Agriculture. Like, damn. What a huge win.

You mean we don’t have hunt and gather anymore? The years of observation and experimentation it must have taken to figure it out is crazy to me.

Thanks, ancestors.

Human beings have the capacity for so much greatness, y’all.

If something is missing from this list, please add some more fun facts in the comments!