Proof of time travel? 19th Century painting shows woman using what appears to be an iPhone

Die Erwartete or The Expected One is one of Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller's many acclaimed works, but there's something quite unique about it, or more accurately, something unsettling about it. Do you see what it is? Give up yet?

Does it not appear as though the woman he depicted in the picture is casually strolling along the peaceful and serene countryside with what seems to be an iPhone, that too nearly 150 years before its actual release? The innocuous detail in the painting - which also shows a potential lover waiting for the lovely lady with a flower at the end of the road - was first noticed by retired Glasgow local government officer Peter Russell when it was hanging at the Neue Pinakothek museum in Munich.

(Source: Wikimedia)

Mr. Russell had shared the image on Twitter in response to another story about mobile phones cropping up in numerous historical scenes. While it might seem like she's casually browsing some app on her iPhone, she's, in fact, reading a hymn book, which many carried with them during the time.

Gerald Weinpolter, an art expert, said: "The girl in this Waldmüller painting is not playing with her new iPhone X, but is off to church holding a little prayer book in her hands.”

(Source: US Postal Service)

The Motherboard story he was responding to concerned a painting titled Mr. Pynchon and the Settling of Springfield. It also depicts a man who seems to be browsing his iPhone. The painting, which was completed by Italian semi-abstract painter Umberto Romano, predates the popular mobile device by seven decades.

While its a hymn book in the Expected One, experts think the man in Romano's painting is holding a mirror, which many natives incorporated into tribal aesthetic and cultural contexts.

Explaining the phenomenon to Motherboard, Mr. Russell said: "What strikes me most is how much a change in technology has changed the interpretation of the painting, and in a way has leveraged its entire context. The big change is that in 1850 or 1860, every single viewer would have identified the item that the girl is absorbed in as a hymnal or prayer book."

"Today, no one could fail to see the resemblance to the scene of a teenage girl absorbed in social media on their smartphone," he added.

There are plenty of other paintings which appear to depict time travel as well, though most have since been thoroughly debunked.

(Source: Pinterest)

Take The Glorification of the Eucharist painted by Ventura Salimbeni in 1595 which hangs in Florence, Italy. The painting shows the holy trinity - Jesus, God, and a dove, which is meant to represent the Holy Ghost. Conspiracy theorists believe that the weird object between Jesus and God is Sputnik, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth and which only launched in 1957.

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Another example would be this painting that hangs on the walls of the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Georgia. While this may be one of the millions of paintings depicting the crucifixion of Christ, what's odd about this one is that it appears to have a UFO in the background. The Express reported that art historians who have studied the 11th-century piece say the weird dome-shaped 'crafts' represent guardian angels.

(Source: Pinterest)

If you're still not convinced, does it not appear as if this ancient Greek statue from around 100 BC, titled Grave Naiskos of an Enthroned Woman with an Attendant shows a woman using a laptop? The statue can be found at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, and Jeffrey Spier, the senior curator of antiquities at the museum believes it's more likely to be a jewelry box or a mirror.

If you have any views or stories that you would like to share with us, drop us an email at

About Author

Akshay Pai


The eternal glamour of Tina Turner: The superstar who effortlessly combined elegance and sex appeal
Prince Harry struggled to have a mother figure in his life and that's when Kate Middleton stepped in
Paris Jackson and Cara Delevingne seal romance with a kiss after double date with Macaulay Culkin and Brenda Song
Paris Hilton almost lost her $2M engagement ring while dancing in a Miami nightclub
Khloe Kardashian claps back at people who said she used ‘Kardashian Perks’ for Popeyes delivery
Brad Pitt's mom over the moon over his reported reunion with Jennifer Aniston
Where's Selena? Baskin Champion spotted leaving Justin Bieber's house wearing his sweatshirt
Tyga shares his childhood picture, and fans are convinced that he is Stormi's father
'Chicago Fire' Actress DuShon Monique Brown dies at 49
Legion Season 2: Navid Negahban sheds light on the darkness that is the Shadow King


Kylie Jenner fights with Kim Kardashian for dissing Travis Scott's new face tattoo
Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman are getting a divorce and it's going to be rough: Reports
Declan Donnelly has finally broken his silence following his best friend Ant McPartlin's arrest
Police discover rotting remains of an obsessive hoarder and rescue her barely alive daughter from an old cottage
Selena Gomez hits back at body shamers who made fun of her scars in bikini pictures