Who Invented Time and What is It?

What is time? Who invented time? What does hrs, mins, secs actually mean? In this article you’ll find facts and history about time.

Who Invented the time, and how can time be explained?

Time wasn’t “invented”. Because time doesn’t really exist. It’s simply a human-like mechanism to control our lives. If you look at living organism other than the human one, you will find that they’re living “now”. To a cat, there’s no yesterday or tomorrow, there’s just one long life with small breaks. I will speak about this later. Of course the other organisms experience and learn from what they do like everyone else, to use the info and experience later on in their life, but you shouldn’t confuse that with having a concept of “time”.

So what is time? Time is relatively. When someone says “yesterday” you instantly think of the time that has just passed away, just before it got dark, or how one might formulate that sentence. But yesterday is not a distance from now that can be measured. The reality is right here, right now, and when you speak of yesterday, it’s the Earth rotating. There’s no measures for time, because time is not dependant of movement or spoilage. There’s only relativity. The amount that something moves compared to some standard-movements, like a watch. Eg. an hour. What does that mean? An hour means 1/24th part of a day. – or 1/24th part of the Earths revolution from this, the Earths position, compared to the Sun, when you compare it to an earlier revolution.

Who came up with the seconds, minutes and hours?

First explanation

A man from china named “min-sec” came up “invented” these units. He watched a bucked of water leaking water very slowly. As he did this, he counted every drop which dropped down on a wheel which by the weight of the water would spin around. After this, another man took up this idea and customized it to a cuckoo clock. He also changed the water to be a coiled metal spring with an escapement. Then the idea came to England where precise measurements where done to match the rotation of the Earth. This happened at the place “Greenwich” which is now the place on Earth that the time begins and ends. It was also here the international date lines were agreed, and these are the ones we still have. They’re divided 1 hour east or west form London.

Second explanation

The first “period” was created without help from humans. It’s of course day which goes from light to dark when sunset occurs. The second period is night.

Some research tells us that the Babylons and Egyptians were some of the first societies to break down the day into useful and measure-able smaller units.

Other natural periods like months were also created by nature, yet understood by human. You look at the moon and observe it’s movement. Furthermore, the word “month” actually comes from the word “moon”.

The newer concepts like seconds, minutes and hours began when a man was able to create reliable counting tools as a improvement to the primitive light- and water-watches, which were developed by the Egyptians.

Astronomy and Astrology gave us the “years” and the modern names of the months etc.

However, it is known that many ancient civilisations like the Mayans were very adept at predicting astronomical happenings with excellent accuracy. The Mayans had their own calender which unfortunately only went to year 2012. So many people want to explain this. An explanation for this could be that the world will end this yea (which is very unrealistic). Another explanation could be that the Mayans way of counting simply didn’t allow them to count further than to year 2012. A third explanation could be that their calenders didn’t need to be that far into the future. Just like we don’t go around and do calendars which goes from year 2010 til year 3012.

My other “Who invented …” articles.

Who Invented the Telephone? and When?

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19 Responses to “Who Invented Time and What is It?”
  1. Silent Wasp Says...

    On September 4, 2010 at 8:21 am

    This was an awesome article! One of the most intriguing ive read in a very long time. Thanks for the read!

    Dejan :)

  2. Netty net Says...

    On September 4, 2010 at 8:26 am

    I didn’t know the first clock was invented in China . How we measure time.

  3. BluSphere Says...

    On September 6, 2010 at 5:01 am

    Thanks a lot Silent Wasp! I really enjoyed writing it too! We talked about this in school today and we had some homework connected to this topic and I thought “Why not write an article about it?” So.. Yea, thanks for reading it and thanks for your great comment! :-)

    4 days ago, I didn’t either, Netty net :) Thanks for commenting and reading my article.

    Best regards both of you,
    A W H

  4. webseowriters Says...

    On September 7, 2010 at 11:26 am

    An excellent post about Time. Mayans prediction of 2012 is funny.

  5. BluSphere Says...

    On September 7, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Indeed! :)

  6. kyle Says...

    On September 14, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Very intriguing article. I especially liked the bit about animals not having the ability to comprehend time. Although it makes sense, I question OUR ability to know whether animals can or cannot comprehend time? You probably have scientific proof that they cannot. I don’t know if animals can or cannot. I just think it is a little skeptical to think that they cannot. Let me know what you think. Great article once again.

  7. BluSphere Says...

    On September 14, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Yea I liked that part a lot too when I heard about it. You know.. Of course they’re able to tell the difference of day and night, as it gets light and dark. Also, they sleep ( of course ) and this way they might be able to know a bit what “time” on the day it is (or rather, how much day is left or how much passed (approx)). Still interesting.

    Thanks for reading my article and commenting, kyle.
    Best regards,
    A W H

  8. nishlaverz Says...

    On September 17, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    What an interesting and informative article.

    Thanks for sharing

  9. BluSphere Says...

    On September 18, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Thank you, Nishlaverz!

    Thanks for commenting

  10. quiet voice Says...

    On October 23, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Hi there, fascinating article. I would quibble with you on one point. Because of the way it has been defined, time has been
    delegated to being dependent on movement, transitory movement. If you leave a room for instance, and return, that transition has taken a period of time defined by what has been assigned to it so as a result we are in deed tying time to movement? Thanks for consideration. Great piece.

  11. BluSphere Says...

    On October 23, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    I get your way of thinking and yes, this is probably what most people compare time to. It’s weird because time isn’t really a thing. It’s in our minds and yet we made it possible to look at a watch to see the time. I think it’s really fascinating. Thanks for showing your interest in my work.

    Best regards,

  12. Minister Marlene Says...

    On October 23, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    I think this is a fascinating article too. I really like the idea of counting drops of water to measure time. I don’t believe the world will end 2012. But now I know the idea comes from the Mayans. I didn’t know that. I do believe our time on earth will run out but that has nothing to do with your article. Great article. I don’t remember learning this in school. Great article.

  13. BluSphere Says...

    On November 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Thank you so much Minister Marlene! I really appreciate that you like it. Time is a very weird thing indeed and to compare time to something like water drops is just amazing thinking. Actually, you should learn about this in school. It’s a quick topic and doesn’t need to take much of your time. Thanks a lot again, MM.

    Best regards,

  14. Melody Granger Says...

    On February 9, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    I’m researching “time” and really, really enjoyed this article!

  15. PETER Says...

    On December 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm


  16. BluSphere Says...

    On May 9, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Hey thanks a lot Melody Granger, Mayan and PETER! Fantastic comments. I’m glad my article were something to you.

    Best regards,

  17. marty Says...

    On May 10, 2012 at 11:36 am

    it didnt help AT ALL! How am i suppose to do my paper now. ive heard alot of good things bout this site but I WONT be coming back

  18. BluSphere Says...

    On June 15, 2012 at 6:19 am

    If your task was to write a paper about the phenomenon “time” as well as who invented it, the above stuff shouldn’t be so bad ;) I think you’ve been reading the advertisements or something? ;)
    Sorry to hear you didn’t get it.


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