Which is the biggest number?

a) Grains of sand in the entire world

b) Stars in the universe

c) Water molecules in 10 drops of water

Maybe you won’t believe me, but the answer is C. A rough estimate of the number of grains of sand on the Earth is 7.5 x 1018 grains. Using data from the Hubble telescope, it can likewise be estimated that there are about x 1022 stars in the universe, or about 1,000 stars for every grain of sand. But incredibly, you only need about 10 drops of water – not even 10 grams – to dwarf the size of the other two numbers.

Moral of the story: molecules are really, really, reallllllly small.

Quick Links

It’s a little scary thinking about how many of everything there is. 

Also, if you do nothing else today check out the Scale of the Universe site and explore. Always entertaining, and always something new to see at some scale.