Unless you are a staunch creationist who believes that early humans roamed the Earth with the dinosaurs, the universe has existed for about 13.7 billion years, and that’s assuming there wasn’t another one before the first big “pop”.
To truly appreciate time spans you must first have a frame of reference. An adult mayfly has a lifespan that ranges from a half hour to one day. In comparison the giant tortoise lives 177 years.
The human who lived the longest, Jeanne Calment of France, died at the age of 122 1/2 years.
The earth rotates on its axis in 24 hours, and the moon’s cycle is about 30 days. The Earth travels around our sun in a year which in turn (as a solar system) orbits the Milky Way once every 200 million years.
Light from the sun takes 8.3 minutes to reach the Earth, yet only 1.3 seconds from the Moon to the Earth. From our nearest star, Alpha Centauri, light takes 4.4 years to reach us, while it takes 100,000 years to travel across the Milky Way galaxy. Light from our closest galactic neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy, takes 2.5 million years to reach us.
Humans sleep for 122 days each year, which seems an incredible waste of time except when you look at what people do while awake. The average daily amount of time the household TV was on last year was about 28 hours a week. By age 70 you have spent 10 years of your life watching TV (and that’s in addition to the 23 years you spent sleeping.) Teens spend 31 hours a week online or 8 years of their life by age 70. Add to that the 7 years you spend eating.
For all the time it consumes our thoughts, the average person spends only 100 or so days through age 70 having sex. That’s about one third of a year. Of course you spend 20 years thinking about it.
There are currently about 6,805,826,570 people in the world of which 308,783,838 live in the USA. In contrast there are over 400 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. Google has an index of approximately one trillion unique URL’s (1,000,000,000,000) with about 2 billion searches taking place each day. YouTube holds about 70,000,000 videos at this time. It is estimated that there are 133,000,000 blogs indexed (of which I am one) and 346,000,000 people reading them. 900,000 blog posts are made each day. Twitter has 200,000,000 active users with half of them logging on daily.
You can check at howmanyofme.com to see how many people in the US have your first, last or both first and last name. There are 120,426 Andre’s in the US. Only 1 has my first and last name. Finally, something unique. If you are Bob Smith there are 2,719,929 people in this country with the same name. Of course, you take that with a grain of salt – there are 6 people in the US named Jesus Christ, and 9,264 people named Santa.
It is Friday. If you live to age 70 you will have 3,640 Fridays to enjoy. Each day you take over 20,000 breaths and breathe about 35 pounds of air. In your life you may breathe 625 million times. In our life we breath the volume of two football fields that are almost twenty stories high.
And finally, if you think it is easy to become a millionaire, consider this: If you count once every second from 1 to one million it will take you almost 12 days with no sleep to get there. If you could travel one mile in a second, it would take you twelve days to travel one million miles. The sun is 92 million miles away and at that same rate it would take you over a thousand days to reach the sun.
One mile a second is quite fast. We run about 5-10 feet in a second. Light travels at 186,400 miles in one second making us look very slow, no matter how hectic our day.
I present all this to you to offer a balance between the insanity we live each day, and the scope of life on this planet and beyond. In that short period we live, packed solid with every emotion, thought, feeling and choices we make and often take for granted, remember that it only takes one second for a life to change, for better or for worse.
Happy Friday. Enjoy the video to gain an added perspective.