Not strange at all, the time it takes for a domain to propagate has rapidly improved over the last year or so, and now, it isn't uncommon for a domain to propagate within 10 minutes of registration taking place.
Yes, that is true. However, its still dependant on your ISP's DNS cache and some ISP's don't update very often (24 - 72 hours, etc.). So, if your ISP updates every hour or so...your domain will work much sooner.
Remember also, even though YOU can see your domain after a short while - there may be other people around the world who won't see it for 24 - 72 hours.
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AH-Tina is right. All domains I register resolve within 2 to 3 minutes max. A friend of me, who uses another ISP has to wait 2 or more days before he can see what I registered and uploaded. You can also see it by the number of visitors coming to the site. It gives a sharp rise in the first few days.
Compare the speed of your web host with 2,000+ (!) other submitted web hosts
If, as hosts, we said that it will take between 1 minuite and 3 days, how many emails would be get 10 minuites later saying its not working? the answer is a lot, and its much more sensiable to give a accurate answer (24-72 hours) as that is what in reality it will take for everyone around the globe to be able to access it.
Note to self: Add something funny! Search is your friend!
1.) The registry now updates their database every 5 minutes instead of once a day, so the domain because active quite quickly.
2.) Name servers, if they haven't look for it before, will look to see if it's registered and if so, what nameservers to look at. Since it's a new domain, they haven't looked for it before and will now find the information, they will then store it for 24-72 hours so they don't have to generate more network traffic looking for it again. That's why it still takes updates so long to propogate because if the dns server has already made a query for that domain, it won't check for updates for another 24-72 hours..