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This Is The First Ever Photo Of Canada

12/06/2013 02:40 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST

Behold the first photograph ever captured in the Great White North.

Taken in 1840 (yes, technically before Canada was actually a country, but stop being so persnickety), the picture of Niagara Falls was discovered in 1997 at Newcastle University in England, where it had been sitting forgotten in the Special Collections of the school's library. Taken by British businessman Hugh Lee Pattinson on a trip to Canada, it was given to the school by his family.

The image is a daguerreotype, an early form of photograph that required a long exposure time. The picture took around 10 minutes to capture, leading many to suggest the figure in the bottom left corner is Pattinson himself.

The photo went viral on Reddit this week, racking up tens of thousands of views. Clever Redditors even took the time to enhance the image and flip it. The original was inverted as part of the daguerreotype process.

In a word: awesome.

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