Scotland is a formation of land 3 billion years in the making. Its oldest rock is the igneous formation now found in Northwest Scotland, transformed at insanely high temperatures 2,900 million years ago into layered gneisses, which looks like this:
After about 500 million years, the landscape was eroded to low hills, which were submerged in rivers carrying red sandstone sediment, and then, 500 million years after that, this land mass (called Laurentia, no longer in existence) was partially submerged in an ocean (no longer in existence) full of animals (many no longer in existence). Fifty million years later there were some crazy magma events, and 20 million years after that there was some major tectonic dancing around; details here. To recap:
It would be still another 419,992,000 years before human beings graced the topography of Scotland, and another 2,000 years before they began building villages and making fashions out of bears and wild pigs, and another 7,776 years before a graduate of the University of Glasgow named Adam Smith, who had a big nose, as you can see—
—would write his famous and lengthy Wealth of Nations, and another 81 years before Madeleine Smith, a Glaswegian with a fondness for bonnets, as you can see—
—would stand trial for feeding arsenic to her lover (who was a common laborer) so that she could marry a guy who had money and a nice last name, and it would be yet another 139 years before a 28-year-old University of Glasgow dropout took a picture of his friend sitting with her shirt off in a bathtub and breastfeeding a stuffed tiger to go on the cover of his first album, which enjoyed an initial printing (on vinyl) of 1,000 copies but was not available in America for another three years, when it was released on the same day in 1999 that Texas Governor George W. Bush announced his intention to seek the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States, which might seem like a long time ago but isn’t, relatively speaking.
[This has been a Belle and Sebastian Fact of the Day. Fuck you, haters.]