Trivia

Hard

Who Divided The Day Into 24 Hours?

The Egyptians
The Greeks
The Romans
The Sumerians

Answer: The Egyptians

Why do we have twenty four hours in a day–as oppose to twenty, or twelve, or any other division of time? To uncover the mystery of the twenty-four hour day we need to take a trip back to ancient Egypt.

While many cultures around the world use a base-10 system (largely in part because they began their exploration of mathematics by counting their ten fingers), ancient Egyptians used a base-12 system. Instead of counting their individual digits, Egyptians instead counted the knuckles of each each finger using their thumbs as pointers (four fingers on each hand, three knuckles per finger, twelve total units).

It was this base-12 system that led the Egyptians to divide the day into 24 hours (two divisions of 12). What’s even more interesting about the Egyptian division of the day is that light and darkness each had their own 12 hours–so in the summer when the daylight hours were extended the 12 hours of the day were longer and the 12 hours of the night were shorter. Individual hours of the day did not have a fixed length until Greek mathematicians proposed such an arrangement in order to facilitate easier calculations. Even then the length of individuals hours remained largely fluid until the advent of mechanical clocks nearly fifteen centuries later.

Trivia

Hard

Iconoclastic Comedian George Carlin Was Also The Narrator For Which Of These Children’s Shows?

Trivia

Hard

The First Science Fiction Serial Film Was?

Trivia

Hard

What Physical Ratio Is Oddly Consistent Among All Mammals?

Trivia

Hard

The Only Cast Member Of The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy To Have Met J.R.R. Tolkien Is?

Trivia

Hard

The First Pepper To Break One Million On The Scoville Heat Rating Scale Was The?

Trivia

Hard

Video Games Frequently Use Which Of These Techniques To Create The Illusion Of 3D Space?

Trivia

Very Hard

What Is Responsible For That Distinct Post-Rainfall Smell?

Trivia

Hard

The Golden Gate Bridge Was Originally Slated To Be Painted What Color?

Trivia

Hard

Which Common Computer Cable Was Named After A Debunked Scientific Theory?