Why does it take 24-48 hours for DNS changes to kick in?

DNS propagation map
DNS propagation map from http://www.webfusion.co.uk

This totally explains it all…

Every domain has two name servers assigned to it and these are the only two name servers that hold records for the domain. However, when another server somewhere else in the world, queries the name servers for DNS records, it will often keep a local copy of the DNS record so that next time it needs to know what IP address the domain resolves to, it already has the answer. More here…

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