Change the way you look at a $1 bill

Change the Way You Look at a Dollar Bill
Change the Way You Look at a Dollar Bill

You probably see a dollar bill everyday, but have you ever really looked at one? What does all that stuff even mean? Lets start with the easy bits.

This is George Washington. In case you've never heard of him, he's labeled. This particular picture of our first president comes from an unfinished portrait by Gilbert Stewart. Because of the engraving process, the image on the bill is reversed.

The portrait is supported by bay laurel leaves, which are often used to represent status. (Think ancient Greece.) The leaves pictured here are still budding, possibly used to indicate that the US has yet to reach its "full bloom."

This is the treasury seal, featuring a balance for justice, a key for trust and a sash with 13 stars. Remember that number 13, it comes up again later.

At the bottom we have the signatures of the treasurer of the United States and the secretary of the treasury.

The series date tells you what year the design of that particular dollar originated. The Federal Reserve seal tells you which of the 12 Federal Reserve banks printed your bill. The letter in the center also corresponds to the city where your bill was made. You'll also notice that "that" letter is also the first letter in your serial number.

On the backside of the bill we have the 'In God We Trust' trust slogan which was adopted in 1956. The two circles are the two halves of our national seal. On the back we also have our national bird holding the national seal, and the shield looks like our flag -- but it's missing the stars.

The ribbon the eagle is trying to eat says "E Pluribus Unum" which is Latin for "out of many one." The eagle is holding an olive branch and some arrows to show that while we are on the side of piece we are definitely ready for war.

The pyramid is definitely the dollar bills biggest WTF? So lets break it down piece by piece.

"Novus Ordo Seclorum" sounds like a spell from Harry Potter but it's actually a line from the ancient poet Virgil that means "a new order of the ages." "Annuit Coeptis" translates to "he has favored our undertakings."

The pyramid represents strength and durability, and at the foot of the pyramid is the Roman numeral 1776, the year of the Declaration of Independence. There are 13 levels of the pyramid representing the original 13 colonies. Those 13 colonies are represented all over the bill including 13 arrows, 13 stars above the eagles head, 13 leaves on the olive branch and 13 pearls extending from either side of the seal.

The floating eye is the eye of providence, a symbol that has been used throughout history to represent god watching over us. Some people, including those who saw the popular Nicholas Cage movie "National Treasure," will tell you that the eye is the symbol of the Illuminati, or the Free Masons, and represents their influence in our government (but for this video lets just stick to the facts).

Oh, and in the corner of the bill there appears to be a picture of an owl ... which is weird.

All of this symbolism on a little piece of paper. Have you ever noticed any of it?