The clock is one of the oldest human inventions, meeting the need to consistently measure intervals of time shorter than the natural units: the day, the lunar month, and the year. Devices operating on several physical processes have been used over the millennia. A sundial shows the time by displaying the position of a shadow on a flat surface. There are a range of duration timers, a well-known example being the hourglass. Water clocks, along with the sundials, are possibly the oldest time-measuring instruments.