Travel the world and you will learn there are obvious differences between cultures, the cuisine, the styles, the languages and even sometimes the toilets – however, you would think that there would be some things that unite us all, like the way we perceive time and space – but you would be wrong.

As one man ranted about on Twitter, Americans have their own way of measuring distances and weights with the imperial system, but it turns out that that is not the only difference. Some of what we perceive about time and distance is based on our own experiences and history. For Americans, a building from the 1600s is a historical landmark, while for Europeans a building like that wouldn’t even deserve a photo. And with distance, Europe has so many countries that are closer together than the states in the U.S so the idea of a 6-hour bus ride would be insane. The following stories show just how much where you grow up affects your view of time and space.

It is still up for debate when the first Americans, the Native Americans, first arrived in America, because more and more evidence continues to be discovered. However, As of now, scientists can say soundly there were people across the Americas at least 15,000 years ago, with even some evidence suggesting as far back as 40,000 years ago. As for the colonists, their date is much much more recent, with people arriving from Europe in the early 1600s. The United States declared independence from the British on July 2, 1776, and signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, making the formal country only 243-years-old. This makes the U.S extremely young when compared to Europe. The oldest country in Europe is the microstate of The Republic of San Mario, who gained independence from the Roman Empire September 3rd, 301 AD. They are followed by France who first unified in 486 AD under the name Francia.

A common misconception is that Europe is smaller than the United States. However, when it comes to land mass the two are actually pretty similar the United States is 9,833,000 square kilometers while Europe is 10,180,000 square kilometers. The confusion comes from the disproportioned way maps were designed, and the fact that countries are smaller and closer together, like states in the eastern part of the U.S, unlike those in the western states. For example, Ukraine, the second largest country in Europe (818 miles at its longest) is almost the same size as Texas (801 miles for Texas) the second largest state int the U.S.

So how do you Europe and the United States match up to the rest of the world? The largest city in the world is Shanghai, China with 24,153,000 people, the largest European city is – which is also the fourth largest city in the world – is Istanbul, Turkey with 14.7 million people and the largest U.S city is New York with 8.6 million. The United States not only doesn’t have the largest city by far, but it’s also not even the largest country, coming in third behind Russia and Canada.