Why Do Clocks Go Clockwise?


This is a question that has baffled very minds over and over again, so we decided to answer the ever-lasting curiosity in-depth in this article so without further ado, let’s get right to answering why Clocks go clockwise.

Basically, it all stems down from Sundials which were one of our very first tries as humanity to mark and schedule a time and the people who first came up with the sundials were Egyptians and Babylonians, the geographical location of these places meant when a stick was placed in the ground under the horizon, the shadow would start forming in a clockwise direction by itself and then go on to revolve until the sun finally goes down.

This was what basically started off the so-called clockwise movement, So there wasn’t any other special reasoning for us to view time in the clockwise direction or for it to even be named clockwise, basically, history just enrolled in the way where the people who invented the sundials happened to be in a certain geographical location

Why Do We Use 12 Instead Of 0 On The Clock?

It goes back to the ancient Sumerian/Babylonian base 60 number system. They didn’t have the number zero back then as it hadn’t been invented yet. And hence it was ultimately decided to settle on 60 after some extensive discussions and calculations by the mathematicians of the time. As 60 easily breaks into 2 lots of 30, 3 lots of 20, 12 lots of 5, 4 lots of 15, 2 lots of 15 lots of 2, and so on

This decision proved quite helpful for them in conducting their daily trade as people of the time weren’t mostly educated to deal with fractions and this proved quite helpful. This was precisely the same reason for why 360 degrees were chosen.

So simply put 60 minutes in an hour and 12 blocks of time that we regard as an hour in a day and 12 at night was quite convenient, Moreover this basically is a throwback to the Babylonian system that gave birth to this very concept.

Which Direction Is Clockswise Direction?

A picture of clockwise and counterclockwise to better elaborate on " Why Do Clocks Go Clockwise?"

This is something that confuses many, so clockwise basically moves from north to east to south to west and then so on and so forth. “Clockwise” and “Counter Clockwise” are two terms that are also often used in the overall contexts in the real world, so knowing their difference can be quite helpful at times

Is Clockwise And Counter-Clockwise Only For Analog Clocks?

Clockwise and counterclockwise have come out of the realm of just clocks and are often used to define motions of certain things as the motion like that of the needle of an analog clock is something that can be related and explained by. And Yes, if you are wondering, analog clocks are majorly the only clocks where you can actually see the conventional “Clockwise” rotation of the clock going on as you see the needle revolving as we said

Who Invented The Phrases “Clockwise” And “Counter-Clockwise”

These weren’t two phases that were actually made and invented by anyone but rather are phrases that eventually came into being when the motion in which the sundial moved was transferred to how the mechanical clocks that were made and the direction in which the time flows on a clock came to be known as “Clockwise” and other direction came to be known as “Counter-Clockwise”

Is There A Difference Between “Anti-Clockwise” And “Counter-Clockwise?

No, there is no difference between “Anti-clockwise” and counter-clockwise” as both of the things refer to the same type of movement. Basically, Anti-clockwise is something that comes from the British English and counter-clockwise in American English, but they are often used interchangeably and mean exactly the same thing so you don’t need to worry about getting confused about them at all

Does Earth Rotate Clockwise?

Earth’s rotation cannot be simply classified as clockwise or counter-clockwise as there is way more to the movement of eath than just that, but if it were to be classified in one of these two realms it resembles itself like the counter-clockwise movement more.

What Is The Meaning Of Anti Clocwise or Counter Clockwise?

There is no meaning to these words and these are just referred to the motion which is opposite to the conventional way in which an analog clock works or ” The Clockwise ” direction, so they are nothing more than just the opposite of the clockwise movement

Why Are Clocks Round In Shape?

The Circular shape is considered linear and is in line with the motion of the hands, as they too have to move in a circular motion ( keeping the same distance from everywhere on the clock. Moreover, as we know the initial clocks humanity made weren’t round not even close. As it was never even a concern to consider the shape of the clock.

As their sole function was and still is to tell time and that is not affected by its shape whatsoever. Some experts do say that the initial shape was decided to be circular because of its symmetry and the overall happy and soothing shape in itself portrays, and some even say that it promotes a lighter mood. On the other hand, others say that there wasn’t any special reason for the clocks to be made this way other then it is not being sharp and just being a bit more convenient.

Lastly, as time has progressed, another reason has merged and that is familiarity & habit, as most of the people out there have grown up with a round clock hanging on the wall. It just subconsciously has become a part of what we call home.

Hopefully, this article was helpful in answering some of your clock-related questions. Lastly, if you want to know why clocks don’t appear in dreams, we have a great article on just that so do give it a click if you are interested “Why don’t clocks appear in dreams? Clocks and dreams!Opens in a new tab.“. Here is also a link about the history of clocks if you want to give that a look “History of timekeeping devicesOpens in a new tab.

AK Iqbal

A University of London’ student with a passion for writing. Clocks have always intrigued me and the importance that they have in our lives is way beyond phenomenal. So, on this site, I write everything about clocks, everything from answering any clock-related queries that you might have along with recommending some of my favorite clocks accordingly. Moreover, I will also be conducting some researches on clock related topics and sharing the things that I learn. So stay tuned to ohmyclock for all the fun clocks related content

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