Humans have always been fascinated by the future. And for as long as humans have communicated with each other, there has been a need to communicate with our future.
Throughout history there have been countless examples used to convey messages to future generations, but below are some of the more intriguing ones that come to mind.
The earliest recorded form of communicating with our future, some dating back as 45,000 years ago, have been cave paintings.
Surprisingly not drawn with MS paint, these primitive paintings appear on nearly every continent and tell a story of a life once lived on this earth. Hunting, gathering, surviving, procreating, and repeating.
Probably the most studied example on this list are the Egyptian Hieroglyphs first appearing around 3100 BC and extending as late as 400 AD.
This visually “emoji-like” writing system had over 1,000 distinct characters and told stories of “started from the bottom of the pyramids” and “sarcophagus bling”.
There is no known history behind the first etching of initials in a tree. However, some claim that this courting ritual was the earliest version of sharing your relationship status with the world.
However, after the inevitable break-up, un-etching initials out of a tree gave a new meaning to the relationship status: “it’s complicated”.
One of life’s final ways to communicate with the future is to share an inspiring message on your tombstone. One such example is the legendary TV show host and media mogul Merv Griffin - better known for creating popular American game shows such as Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.
Merv Griffin, loved by millions of households, passed away in 2007 but not before leaving us with one final laugh from reading his tombstone. Bringing new meaning to the notorious saying of “life after death”.
The most recent form of the past communicating with the future showed up in August 2022 with Europe’s hunger stones. Huge stones that lay submerged below the service of a river with an etched message that can only be read during a drought season.
These hunger stones played no "hunger games". This message seems obscure on the surface, however given that you can only see this during a time of drought, provides empathy during a potential time of crisis. What’s fascinating about this example is that multiple generations etch their moment in history during the years: 1417, 1616, 1707, 1746, 1790, 1800, 1811, 1830, 1842, 1868, 1892, and 1893.
What will be the next iteration of communicating with our future world?
We have some theories.
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