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10,000 Years

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"AHH! After ten thousand years, I'M FREE! It's time to CONQUER- EARTH!"

Creators will sometimes sometimes try to make it sound like something is positively ancient by stating that it is ten thousand years old. One common example is the supposed sinking of Atlantis. Many cultures have a distinct word for 10,000 that is often used to refer to any indefinite large number — in English, for example, it's "myriad". Currently, the development of agriculture is estimated as having occurred ten thousand years ago. And the earliest example of print is much younger than 8,000 BC.


Compare Thousand-Year Reign. May be a case of Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale.


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     Comic Books  

  • First Comics' Mars by Mark Wheatley and Marc Hempel has the advance team of terraformers lose contact with Earth, and decide to let their robots reshape the planet Mars on automatic while they place themselves in stasis pods for ten thousand years, in hopes that Mars will be habitable by then.

     Film - Animated  

  • Aladdin
    • Genie states that he's been trapped in his lamp for 10,000 years. Who or what made the lamp 10,000 years ago is never explained.
    Genie: 10,000 years can give you such a crick in the neck!
    • Genie's first words upon his release are given a Meaningful Echo later on when Jafar is turned into a genie and trapped in his own lamp.
    Genie: 10,000 years in the Cave of Wonders ought to chill him out!


  • Dune by Frank Herbert takes place in the year 10,191 AG, after the Spacing Guild was founded and the Imperium established.
  • On Gor by John Norman years are measured by locally significant events such as Year X of King Y's reign. For the sake of stability many locations also date their years in CA, "Contassa Ar" or "from the founding of Ar" (Gor's largest city-State). In the first book it's 10,119 CA.
  • In Heinlein's Magic, Inc. Ditworth is sentenced to ten thousand years of imprisonment by Satan for being defeated with white magic. Fraser notes that it's like the demonic equivalent of six months in prison.


     Live Action TV  

  • In Stargate Atlantis the Earth-Atlantis Expedition returns to Atlantis and the Pegasus Galaxy 10,000 years after the Lanteans lost the Wraith war, sank Atlantis, and retreated back through the Stargate to Earth.
  • In Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Rita Repulsa was locked up for 10,000 years in a "Space Dumpster" on the moon, as she helpfully reminds viewers in the Opening Narration sequence before every season 1 episodenote . This currently serves as the page quote.
    • Interestingly, Witch Bandora's imprisonment in Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger was even longer. To be precise, 170 million years.
    • Power Rangers Jungle Fury's backstory also goes back to a great war 10,000 years ago; Wild Mass Guessing regarding whether the two incidences are in fact one and the same, and 10,000 years ago is just a rough estimate, was initially very popular.
  • Babylon 5: When Delenn explains the Shadows and the First Ones to Sheridan, she tells him the last time they made open war with each other was 10,000 years ago. The last war fought by the younger races against the Shadows, on the other hand, was a "mere" 1,000 years ago.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine gives two figures for the Dominion's age. One is this trope, the other is a 'mere' over two thousand years (given the context it's possible it simply took the Founders some eight millennia to get from planning the Dominion to actually implementing the Dominion).


  • In the song "I Was Born About 10,000 Years Ago" the narrator claims to have been born 10,000 years ago, claiming to have witnessed much of the Bible's history.
    I was born about 10,000 years ago
    There ain't nothing in this world that I don't know
    I saw Peter, Paul and Moses
    Playing Ring Around the Roses
    And I'll lick the man who says it isn't so

     Tabletop Games  

  • The more recent catastrophic events in Warhammer 40,000 happened around the thirtieth millennium, 10,000 years earlier (the Fall of the Eldar and the rise of Chaos). The people who were alive back then (Asdrubael Vect, Ezekyle Abaddon) are noted to be among the most dangerous people in the galaxy.
  • Mindjammer takes place 10,000 years after Old Earth started sending out Sleeper Starships to colonize distant stars. And two centuries after Earth discovered 2-space drive and began recontacting those colonies.

     Video Games  

  • Warcraft: The first time the demonic Burning Legion invaded Azeroth was ten thousand years ago, during the War of the Ancients. This also became an important date for many related characters, including the entire night elven race (who were immortal and have been alive since then). Illidan Stormrage's time spent since the War of the Ancients was a little bit different and defines his character, as he had been imprisoned in a lightless prison since then. He tells us this himself during the cinematic:
    Imprisoned for ten thousand years. Banished from my own homeland. And now, you dare enter my realm? You are not prepared.
  • InKnights of the Old Republic,you encounter a droid on Dantooine that claims to be the remnant of an ancient empire. When you ask how long it's been there, its answer indicates at least 20,000 years, long before the Republic came into existence...
    • Except, as established in the original Star Wars, the Republic was founded over twenty-one millennia before the time of Knights of the Old Republic. Somebody's mind slipped here, whether in-universe or out.
  • Vanguard Princess: Lilith's victory quote is "You're ten thousand Years Too Early!"
  • In Chrono Cross, you learn at Chronopolis that the El Nido triangle was created out of open sea by researchers 10,000 years ago.

     Web Original  

  • Orion's Arm currently covers up to 10,600 years of the future.


     Web Comics  

     Western Animation  

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
    • The number 10,000 is used in many different contexts as a stand-in for the infinite. For example, Wan Shi Tong, the guardian of the Spirit Library, describes himself as "he who knows ten thousand things" (which is, in fact, the translation of his name).
    • In the sequel series, The Legend of Korra, Harmonic Convergence is an event that occurs once every 10,000 years. During this the spirit of light Raava and the spirit of darkness Vaatu battle to decide whether the next 10,000 years will be those of light or those of darkness. Vaatu also claims Harmonic Convergence is something they've expected at least 10,000 times.
  • In The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode with Jeannie and Babu, the evil djinn had Jeannie trapped behind a glass wall. She told her friends that he intended to keep her there for 10,000 years.

     Real Life  

  • Many East Asian languages use the phrase "ten thousand years" to wish another person or thing a long life (the English versions is "Long live..."). The Japanese version of this is "Banzai!".
  • Ten-thousand years ago in Earth history was referred to as the Neolithic or "New Stone Age", which lasted from approximately 10,000 BC to between 4,500 and 2,000 BC. Some of the most notable advancements in human civilization of the time were the development of agriculture, domestication of animals and livestock, construction of permanent buildings and settlements, and the making of pottery.


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