(Pocket-lint) – Every now and then an image appears online which people claim shows a time traveller somewhere they shouldn’t be. But are they just cases of people letting their imaginations run wild?
We’ve rounded up some of the best and most interesting images of time travellers throughout history. Some turned out to be plain fakes or cases of mistaken identities, but others are certainly intriguing.
Which have you seen before?
The time travelling hipster
This photo was snapped in 1941 at the re-opening ceremony for the South Fork Bridge in British Columbia.
If you look carefully, on the right-hand side you can see an unusually dressed man in what appears to be modern clothing, sporting sunglasses at a time when most were wearing hats and smart jackets.
Many argue this is a time traveller, while others have countered that he’s simply a man with a fashion sense ahead of his time. Either way, it’s still a wildly popular photo and a great one too in our mind.
World Cup celebrations
This photo comes from the 1962 World Cup and shows the celebrations as the Brazilian team lifts the trophy.
If you look closely though, you’ll see in the bottom centre of the image what looks like someone with a mobile phone snapping a photo of the event.
Could this be a time traveller as well? Bit odd to think someone in the future might have a flip phone, but then they have been making a comeback recently and we know folding phones are about to be big too.
The time travelling sun seeker
This image from 1943 apparently shows British factory workers escaping to the seaside for a break during the midst of wartime. The clothes and beachwear of most people certainly fit the era, but in the centre of a frame appears to be a man dressed like Mr Bean checking his mobile phone.
Or maybe it’s a time travel device? Likely a bit of a stretch or a case of overactive internet imagination, but we still enjoy the thought. Maybe there are no public beaches in the future?
Mohawk time traveller
This image from 1905 appears to show the usual happenings of the time – including workers and a banana boat delivering its goods.
However, if you look near the edge of the boat you can spy a man in a white shirt with what appears to be a Mohawk style haircut. A very unusual haircut for the time and possible proof of a time traveller? Who can say?
Film footage captured during the recording of Charlie Chaplin’s 1928 silent film “The Circus” appears to show a lady dressed all in black, wearing a hat and walking around the set talking on her mobile phone.
The footage is a little iffy as is the idea that anyone could be talking on a mobile device in the 1920s, but it’s certainly got some suggesting it might be proof time travellers are among us.
The ancient astronaut sculpture
In Salamanca, Spain, there’s a cathedral with multiple sculptures carved into its sides. One such sculpture appears to show the likeness of a modern day (or perhaps futuristic) astronaut.
Considering the cathedral’s construction dates back to 1513, people have taken this as proof that time travellers made their way back to that time. However, the truth is the astronaut is merely a modern addition to the artwork carried out by Jerónimo García de Quiñones during renovations in 1992.
Time travelling celebrities
There’s an interesting trend of people who closely resemble folks from a bygone era. This could just be a spooky coincidence, but maybe it’s proof that time travel is possible?
Perhaps these celebrities are living a double life in another century? Here, Marxist-Leninist Revolutionary Leader Mahir Cayan who was born in 1946 and died in 1972 is shown to bear a striking resemblance to TV star Jimmy Fallon. Is Jimmy Fallon living a double life as a revolutionary communist? Seems hilariously unlikely.
A man and his mobile phone
Some claim that this oil painting by Pieter de Hooch, that was lovingly crafted in 1670 appears to show a young man holding his mobile phone. In an age where such a thing would probably have seen him burnt at the stake, this one is hard to believe.
A description of the image also suggests the young man is a messenger and that’s a letter in his hand, not a phone, but it’s still nice to let your imagination run wild once in a while. We’ve often wondered what it would be like to be able to travel back to simpler times to see what life was like for ourselves.
The Adidas trainers mummy
A couple of years ago, an ancient mummy was unearthed by archaeologists digging in Mongolia. At the time, it was suggested the funky looking footwear she was wearing bore a striking resemblance to Adidas trainers. More evidence of a time traveller visiting ancient times? Investigation of the body dated it around 1,100 years old. That’s one heck of a blast through the past.
However, further unearthing showed the woman was more likely to have been a Turkic seamstress which might explain the fresh kicks. She was found with an ancient clutch bag, a mirror, a comb, a knife and more. But no mobile phone.
The time surfer
Another image of an out-of-place individual that people have latched on to as proof that time travel is a reality. This image dates back over 100 years and shows some smartly dressed Canadians sitting on the side of a hill.
On the left-hand side though, sits a young man in what appears to be a t-shirt and shorts with ruffled hair. He was quickly referred to as the surfing time traveller due to how unusual his attire is. Others have suggested people in the photo appear shocked by his appearance, even pointing out the woman on the right who seems to be gesturing in his direction. Again, a bit of a stretch as would a time traveller really go through time dressed like that?
A visitor to wartimeReykjavk
This photograph apparently shows a scene from downtown Reykjavík in 1943. In the heart of wartime, soldiers and sailors can be seen everywhere in the streets among civilians. The man circled though, appears to be on a mobile phone.
We’ve really got a theme going with these smartphone using time travellers. Who is he calling? And how? And if he is a time traveller, why is he not in Berlin trying to assassinate Hitler?
The dabbing WWII soldier
There’s an apparent theme to these time traveller photos that not only includes smartphone users, but also people visiting the second world war. In this image, a young soldier is seen dabbing, a dance move that became popular around 2014, but certainly wasn’t known in wartime.
Of course, it turns out this photo isn’t an image of a time traveller, but rather just an image of some actors from 2017’s blockbuster Dunkirk. The fact that most of the soldiers are smiling should also be a bit of a giveaway with this one.
In 2019, the internet discovered a photograph from 1898 which showed three children working at a gold mine in Canada’s Yukon territory.
The image seemed to show a girl with an incredible likeness to the young climate activist Greta Thunberg. Does this make Thunberg a time traveller who’s come through time to save the planet? Weird year for her to choose, but it’s a nice idea.
A woman clutching a smartphone (1860)
The painting “The expected one” from 1860, by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller appears to show a woman walking along a rough path, about to be accosted by an adoring young man clutching a pink flower.
A close look though and you’ll see she appears to have her attention firmly glued to a modern smartphone. Is this woman actually a time traveller?
Writing by Adrian Willings.