Stephen Hawking invites time travellers to a party

History buffs on Facebook were left convinced of time travel after a black and white photograph originating from World War II appeared to show a man speaking on a mobile phone.

In the image, the conspicuous figure could be seen leaning against a shop front on a crowded pavement amongst locals as well as US army soldiers deployed there.

According to The Sun, the image was taken in Iceland’s capital of Reykjavík in 1943 – long before the invention of the portable telephone devices. The first mobile phone, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, was sold in 1973.

The man who appeared to be holding a device to his ear was dressed in a light-coloured coat, wore a flat cap and was looking in the direction of the camera that captured the image.

The picture which has sparked conspiracy theories of time travel was shared by its owner Kristján Hoffman on the Facebook group Gamlar ljósmyndir, which translates to “Old Photographs”.

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Kristján Hoffman

Hoffman wrote on Facebook: “The American army is taking over Icelandic splendour, as you can see.

“One thing that draws attention to this beautiful picture is that above the window, in the corner in the middle of the picture, a man is leaning and is on a cell phone.”

The post sparked a lot of debate online as people gave their different theories. One person suggested the man was simply scratching his ear, while another said he was holding his watch up to see if it was working since the man is standing outside a watch shop in the image.

But Hoffman stuck to his own beliefs, saying: “He's in a stupor, standing alone and wearing a different headdress than the others and a scarf and acting like we would do today.

“He has an overview of the square and nothing like having a conversation with someone on a smartphone.”

Another person in the comments joked that Icelanders had “already invented the mobile phone way before anyone else!”

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