Math

What does a trillion look like? Time to wrap our heads around it.

The jury is still out on the exact number an average person can comprehend. While some mathematically inclined people can do complex equations whose answers are vast numbers, there is a consensus that it is tough for humans to understand what those numbers amount to in real life. Recently in the news, we have heard statements like “millions filing for unemployment in one week,” “Google is giving $1 billion to news publishers,” and even a 1.8 trillion dollar stimulus package. The Hot Girls wanted to know what this actually looks like, and what better way to put a visual to a massive number than to picture that number using standard hair ties? We decided to use hair ties that are 4 mm (pictured below) as a unit of measurement to wrap our heads around this.

Measuring Tool: standard hair tie 4 mm in depth and 1.5 inches in diameter
Reference 4 mm = 0.4 cm= 0.15748 in

Million: 1,000,000
Measurements:
157,480 inches
13,123.33 feet
2.49 miles
Equivalents:
● 1 length of Central Park (from 59th Street to 110th Street)
● 7.34 World Trade Centers (height)
● 36.5 football fields in length
● 2.2 lengths of the Brooklyn Bridge

Billion: 1,000,000,000
Measurements:
157,480,000 inches
13,123,333.33 feet
2,485.48 miles
Equivalents:
● Approximately New York City to Los Angeles, CA (2,442 miles from point A to B
● Approximately New York City to Las Vegas, NV driving via I-80W (2,522.5 miles)

Trillion: 1,000,000,000,000
Measurements:
157,480,000,000 inches
13,123,333,333.33 feet
2,485,479.8 miles
Equivalents:
● 99.8 times around the circumference of the earth
● 5 round trips from the earth to the moon

Featured photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels (Hair tie graphic overlay by Lydia Casparie)

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