If you caught my last article about water, you’d know that there are about two sextillion molecules in a single droplet of water. That’s a ‘2’ followed by twenty-one zeroes, or 2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
The only way we could possibly know this is by mathematically computing it in terms of atomic weight. We certainly didn’t count each molecule.
Do you have any idea how long it would take to count that high?
Well, let’s assume you counted just one number every second…which is pretty generous considering how long it would take to say the number 45,346,824,219,763, for example.
So assuming you count a number per second, it would take you a total of two sextillion seconds. Divide that by 60 and you get the number of minutes. Divide by 60 again and you get the number of hours. Then divide by 24 and that’s how many days.
But before I spill the beans, how many days do you think it would take to count that high?
Now, be careful not to over-guess.
Do you think it would take:
A) 10 days
B) 100 days
C) 1,000 days
In reality, it would actually take you several years to count to sextillion.
How many years would it take for one person to count to sextillion?
A) 10 years
B) 100 years
C) 1,000 years
What’s your guess?
Alright, alright…I tricked you again.
Counting to two sextillion would take lifetimes.
Okay, last shot, take one more guess…
How many lifetimes do you think it would take to count to two sextillion?
A) 10 lifetimes
B) 100 lifetimes
C) 1,000 lifetimes
Assuming that a lifespan is a generous 80 years long, it would take you…
Drum roll, please…
792,744,799,594 lifetimes. That’s almost 800 billion lifetimes!
Considering there are 7 billion people on the planet, it would take 113 planets of 7 billion people all counting for their entire lives.
And let me remind you, that’s how many H2O molecules are in just ONE DROP of water.
Still not amazed?
Well what if I told you that there are more molecules in a single drop of water than there are stars in the galaxy?
In fact, there are only a hundred billion stars in the entire Milky Way galaxy. That’s a ‘1’ followed by 11 zeros, or 1 x 10^11 written in scientific notation.
Compare that to 2 x 10^21 and it’s easy to see the massive difference.
Stars in the galaxy: 100,000,000,000
Molecules in a drop of water: 2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
FYI, the above picture is not the Milky Way galaxy, it’s just a distant look-alike.
Humans haven’t been able to send anything far out enough to take a picture of our galaxy. The furthest probe has barely even made it outside of the solar system, which is incredibly tiny compared to the galaxy.
In fact, in the above image you wouldn’t even be able to see our solar system. Since the image is 552 pixels wide, the solar system would be less than 100,000 times smaller than a pixel.
Pretty ridiculous, right?
And the funniest thing is that this isn’t a joke. This is reality.
This is life…
…and yet we know so little about it.
But with advances in quantum physics, we’re starting to see just how bizarre the fundamental nature of reality is.
To continue the personal account from the previous article about water, my dad then told me to pretend that I was looking into a water droplet through special, high-powered microscope.
He told me to imagine myself zooming all the way down to the molecular level and into the tiny hydrogen atom itself.
At that point in time, scientists had never actually seen a water molecule, much less a hydrogen atom.
But with my tiny mind, I tried hard to visualize what the hydrogen atom would look like.
He then had me imagine that I was looking deeper and deeper into one of the electrons orbiting the hydrogen atom’s nucleus, as if it were a planet orbiting a sun.
“Now, visualize yourself zooming closer and closer into the surface of the electron, when suddenly your eye meets another eye looking back at you through a high-powered telescope.”
At this point, we’ve crossed over from reality into fantasy…or did we?
Scientists will tell you that this occurrence is impossible based on the laws of the quantum realm. But the truth is that these scientists really have no idea if this is possible.
Looking back at history, scientists have been notorious for underestimating the complexity (and absurdity!) of the universe. And now, the most recent advances in quantum physics have shattered everything we thought we knew about reality and the fundamental nature of our existence.
So if you think things aren’t about to become extremely bizarre…
…well, think again.