In the pilot episode of Futurama Fry falls into the cryogenic machine just at the stroke of midnight. 1,000 years later Fry awakens from his cryogenic sleep in what appears to be the middle of the afternoon.

Shouldn't he have woken up at the stroke of midnight?

  • 14
    Leap Seconds
    – Niall C.
    Jun 14, 2012 at 1:17
  • 4
    Anything the affects the length of the day at the 3e-6 level would do it. Jun 14, 2012 at 1:18
  • 1
    @NiallC.: Good idea, but if we extrapolate from the 25 leap seconds we had in the last 40 years, that would only result in about 10 minutes over a period of 1000 years.
    – bitmask
    Jun 14, 2012 at 2:02
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    @bitmask Scientists thought "Leap Seconds" sounded cool so they voted to have more of them?
    – Dason
    Jun 14, 2012 at 2:16
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    @Dason: Can't argue with that. Also - maybe the altered name of Uranus caused it to be redefined with a different mass, thereby changing the configuration of the solar system and by extension the time it takes the earth to rotate around the sun?
    – bitmask
    Jun 14, 2012 at 2:18

3 Answers 3


Professor Farnsworth mentions that scientist voted to change the speed of light which could alter how long a day actually is somehow. Also if they're going to vote to change the speed of light they might just vote to make the day ever so slightly longer so they can take an extra nap or two every now and then.

However my main answer is that Fry fell off of a chair into the cryogenic tube and the dial magically turned itself to 1000 years. It's entirely possible that there is some imprecision in this process:

Time dial

  • 4
    It is on an egg timer, after all. Those things are always off by a few hours.
    – Zibbobz
    Sep 22, 2014 at 20:07
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    @Zibbobz You must have some really over cooked eggs. Jul 17, 2015 at 14:35
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    @DrRDizzle He just likes his eggs extra crispy. If it's not black - send it back.
    – Dason
    Jul 17, 2015 at 14:36
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    @DrRDizzle Hey, those giant bird monster eggs take a long time to cook.
    – Zibbobz
    Jul 17, 2015 at 14:44

Daytime was when the cryogenic counselors are there working. Rather than having people wake up in the middle of the night with no one to greet them, they probably just had a list of everyone that was going to be woken up over the next 24 hours and performed them all over the course of the shift. This would also allow them to effectively utilize the probeulator, which would likely go unused at some points and have a line at others if they waited for the exact moment to defrost.


The 1000 years could have just been a round number. I doubt that they would have an exact digit when it comes to big numbers. So in reality the number would be something around 999.9xxx years. And as you look at the picture Dason provided. That wouldn't fit.


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