As you can see from this picture, the moon passes between sun and the earth. As the visible moon is larger than the visible sun, the sun is eclipsed by the moon and no direct sunlight is visible to us. The event pictured did not take too long. It was the solar eclipse visible in Scotland in 2015 and its total time was 2 minutes and 47 seconds, so not an eternity.
Total eclipses are vary rare astronomical events. So considering how rare these events are and how short a time they take, it is remarkably how they capture our imagination. In the past solar eclipses often were markers of important historical events. There apparently was a solar eclipse when Jesus died and Mohammed was born and in more recent times the solar eclipse in 1919, when the sun light was blocked by the moon for a full 6 minutes and 51 seconds, scientists measured the bending of the light from the stars. These finding were instrumental in the explanation of Einstein’s theory of general relativity.