How Big is Earth?

So a while back I played a game… the game is “The scale of the Universe 2“. It starts at 10^0m or 1m and eventually goes up to 10^27m…. which is really big, all the way down to 10^-35. Which is really fucking small. But from that I’ve always kinda had the question of just how big we are and while the game does a good job I want to do something a bit more detailed. When I first considered doing this I was on a train journey. Which is perfect cause I was bored out of my skull, all my work at the time had be travelling by train for 2 – 4 hours a day. So while I was sitting there I started to with the basics. Which was that believe it or not, the Earth is big. I know who would have thought it. But it’s very difficult to imagine just how big it really is. So my first objective was to try and describe how big the Earth was in a way that everyone could understand, or at least so I can understand. So my thought process was something like this:

Well the biggest thing I can imagine is a football pitch. At least it’s the biggest thing I can imagine and still have an idea of it’s relative size. Which is about 90m x 120m or 10,800m^2. That’s pretty big I thought, so how many of those does it take to fill the world…. which is 510,072,000km^2 …. or 510,072,000,000,000m^2… which is an unimaginably large amount of football pitches. It’s over 47,228,888,888 pitches. That’s more than half the amount of money Bill Gates is worth (wow that guy is loaded). It is almost a sixth of the number of stars in our galaxy. This is about the point where I gave up for a while, I was actually really shocked at just how big the Earth was and small a football pitch really is. So I left it on the back burner for a while and today I came back to it.

So let’s start with you, the average human is about 1.7m tall, which means if you lie them down they will just about fit across the width of a car. You wouldn’t be able to close the doors, but who needs those anyway. After that, if you remove all the engine parts and the like you can get about 9 people in lying down. Which is not that many. So what’s next? Let’s go with a Boeing 747. Without the wings, cause those things make it pretty huge. You can fit about 50 cars into a Boeing 747, so get 4 mates and hold your hands in a circle and wiggle all your fingers, it’s that many cars. After that it only takes a little more than 15 Boeing 747’s to fill a football pitch. Or 750 cars or 6750 people lying down. Thus far what we have a lot of people in too many cars in a few planes sitting on a football pitch. So where to next?

Let’s go for a good day out, take a trip to Dublin Zoo. Dublin Zoo is a pretty nice place to spend the day and I mean like the whole day. There is enough stuff to do there and food to keep you fed that it’s great. That and as far as zoos go it’s about half the size of the largest zoo in the world, the Henry Doorly Zoo, in Nebraska. Dublin Zoo is just short of the size of 26 football pitches. That’s pretty darn big. Which means that it takes only 2 billion Dublin Zoos to cover the surface of the earth. We are not there yet but we are getting there. So the next step is right outside Dublin Zoo, the Phoenix Park…. Actually Dublin Zoo is a part of the park, but you get my point. So what if you really wanted all of the park to be one giant zoo. It would take 25 and a quarter Dublin Zoos to fill the entirety of Phoenix Park. So, that’s a huge number of wolves and polar bears. We need to get on this, like right now! Though I guess it’s already full of deer and stuff, so it’s like a Zoo that you don’t have to pay for, but so is the Amazon Rainforest. Which is really big and not out next step.

Our next step is the City of Dublin, not the county the city. Which would be filled by 16 and half Phoenix Parks. For reference stake at this stage, cause I stopped listing size a while back, Dublin City is 115km^2 or 115,000,000m^2. That’s actually bigger than Paris City. Dublin County is big enough for just a small bit more than 8 cities the size of Dublin City. How so lets see how close we are getting?… 553,824.1 Counties of Dublin are needed to cover the Earth, which is still an unimaginable number, if you have lived for that many days you would have been alive in 497A.D. Which is the year that Muhammad’s great grandfather died…. and his grandfather was born, I’m assuming from other sides of the family. There was also a Shaolin Temple founded in Henan. But that’s a long long time ago. So on to the next step.

Leinster is the second smallest province (our equivalent of states in America… only not really) in Ireland at about 19,800 square kilometres. Which will fit County Dublin inside of it 21.5 times. Leinster in turn will fit into Ireland 4.25. Oh wow, we can see the area we are working with on a map of the Earth now, we still have a long way to go, but we are getting there. But lets see the area we have covered in the format of what we have covered it with.

  • 1 Ireland
  • 4.25 Leinsters
  • 91.375 County Dublins
  • 731 copies of Dublin City
  • 12,061.25 Phoenix Parks
  • 305,552.875 Zoos
  • 7,918,374.75 Football Pitches
  • 118,775,621.25 Boeing 747s (Which is a lot more than there are in existence)
  • 5,938,781,062.5 Cars (Which is almost as many people are in the world)
  • 53,449,029,562.5 People (Which is a lot more than the number of people in the world… also lying down)

So if you take nothing else away from this, then know that every last human in the world could lie down in Ireland and not even cover a fifth of it… This has turned into a fairly large block of text. But don’t worry we are nearly there.

It takes a little less than 8 Irelands to fit into France, which in turn you only need 8 of to fill the Amazon Rainforest. By the way, there is a stat about how a chunk of rainforest the size of a football pitch is cut down every second, however the rainforest is 506,775,984 Football Pitches big. So it would take a mere 16 years to cut it all down. That is in our lifetime people, why aren’t we fixing this?!?! To the matter at hand though, 3.25 Amazon Rainforests are needed to cover South America. Then you only need 8.35 South Americas in order to cover the entire area of Earth that isn’t water. Then it’s a little under 3.5 times that to cover the Earth. So all in all we have:

  • 1 Earth
  • 3.5 Surface of Earth that isn’t ocean
  • 29.225 Copies of South America
  • Nearly 95 Amazon Rainforests
  • 759.85 Countries of France
  • 6,078.8 Irelands
  • 25,834.9 Leinsters
  • 553,842.1 County Dublins
  • 4,430,562.8 Cities of Dublin
  • 73,104,781.2 Phoenix Parks
  • 1,845,895,725.3 Dublin Zoos
  • 47,228,888,888.8 Football Pitches
  • 708,433,333,332 Boeing 747s
  • 35,421,666,666,600 Cars
  • 318,794,999,999,400 People lying down

That is a lot of people, like a hell of a lot of people. That is all just to cover the surface of the Earth. Nothing about going bellow it’s surface, which is even more we would have to cover. I hope you guys found this interesting and I’ll see you again some time.

TLDR: It’s bigger than you can imagine.


About Snababo

What can I say? I'm 26, Irish, have Asperger's Syndrome and a lot on my mind.
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