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Top 5 Confounding Time Travel Facts

VO: Chris Masson
Curious what your grandpa was like as a lad? Check every hot tub, phone booth, and pseudo futuristic sports car; one of them is bound to take you back in time. Welcome to WatchMojo's Top 5 Facts; the series where we reveal five random facts about a fascinating topic. The theory and science behind time travel may seem simple (right?) but its grammar is wicked hard. If your grandmother gives you a necklace and you travel back in time and give it to her as a girl, then she grows up and gives it to you, where did that stupid necklace come from? Tune in and [you won't] find out!

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Top 5 Confounding Facts About Time Travel

Check every hot tub, phone booth, and pseudo futuristic sports car; one of them is bound to take you back in time. Welcome to WatchMojo Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts; the series where we reveal – you guessed it – five random facts about a fascinating topic. In today’s instalment we’re counting down five miscellaneous factoids that you probably didn’t know about time travel.

#5: Apparently, Actors Time Travel All the Time

They must! How else could we explain all these actors who just happen to look like people who lived a hundred years ago? Plus, we have proof: here is Henry Fonda in a film from 1948… looking at an iPhone. And actors aren’t the only ones who travelled back in time with mobile devices. Look at these women talking on their cell phones. A Swedish man claimed to have met himself in the future, and as proof shot this blurry 12 second video with no audio. The whole thing may or may not have been part of a viral marketing campaign by a Swedish pension fund. Washington state lawyer Andrew Basiago claims that ever since he was a child he’s been part of a secret government time travel experiment called Project Pegasus. Even more amazing? One of his alleged “chrononauts” was none other than President Barack Obama. But there’s no way they can travel to Mars, can they?

#4: Verb Tenses Become Very Confusing

In his comedic novel “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe” Douglas Adams contends that the most difficult thing about time travel is mastering the 1001 verb tense formations. For instance, how would you describe something that would have happened in your current present, while you’re travelling from your original future to readjust the original past and create an alternate timeline from your current one? Some internet grammarians have attempted to create up with a usable solution, and have come up with phrases like “I will kick the ball have.”

#3: Science Proves Time Travellers Do Not Tweet

Some physicists over at Michigan Tech tried finding time travellers using Twitter searches. They chose a few terms that would have been completely anachronistic at a given time, like “Pope Francis” would have been in 2009, and scoured nearly a trillion tweets. They came up with nothing. Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking tried to meet time travellers by throwing a reception for them. Unfortunately, no one came to his party. So either his invitation did not survive far enough into the future, or time travel will never be invented. Or maybe he should have written “open bar” on the invitation.

#2: If You Kill Your Grandfather, You Can’t Kill Your Grandfather

Sci-fi buffs know this as the Grandfather Paradox.The theory goes that if you travelled back in time and killed your grandfather, then you would never have been born; but since you were never born, you were never able to kill your grandfather and so your grandfather lives, and you get born-- er, will have had been gotten born?
Similar paradoxes exist for items and ideas travelling back and forward through time, confounding the temporal origins of anything!

#1: Time Travel is Theoretically Possible

No, probably not. But as confounding as it may be, we can’t dismiss the whole concept as science fiction. Physicists theorize that two black holes placed end-to-end forming a wormhole could create a portal through time. Of course, the actual size of the portal would be about 1 atom wide, so good luck with that. However, that hole could theoretically be enlarged with a steady flow of antigravity, which is also, theoretically, a real thing.Naturally, none of these technologies are even close to being realized, but it does make it easier to suspend your disbelief for a good time travel flick!

What will did you have had been thinking about these facts? And what’s your favourite movie time machine? For more awesomely futuristic Top 10s and hopelessly passé Top 5s every week, be sure to subscribe to

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