One trillion. A number I have used so casually it seems as though I know how big it is. After all, one trillion comes right after 999 billion right? Simple math. Our deficit is in the tens of trillions. A terabyte hard drive has one trillion bytes. And yet that number is so large I am just now beginning to understand that I don’t know how big it is.

For starters, one trillion is the equivalent of a million, millions. So, if you had one million, one million dollar bills, you would be a trillionaire. Or if you had one trillion pennies, you’d have 10 billion dollars worth of pennies that would weight over 3 million tons [source]. Lucky you!

Next, one trillion seconds is the equivalent of 31,546 years! [source because I am lazy] Because the larger numbers take longer than a second to pronounce, it is therefore impossible for a single person count from 1 to 1 trillion. Hopefully your kid will fall asleep first.

Finally, our universe is roughly 13 billion years old. Not even our enormous universe (which in itself is hard to conceptualize) is one trillion years old. However our observable universe is roughly 92 billion light-years in diameter, putting the edge of our observable universe at scant 46 billion light-years away. But light-years sound so darn simple. They are not. Light travels at blistering 670 million miles per hour and at a distance of approximately 6 trillion miles in a year. If you made the trip to the edge of the observable universe from earth, you will have traveled some… uh, hold on.

[Fuzzy Math Happenings]

500 sextillion miles!!!

How big is a sextillion? Uhmm, lets see. One sextillion dollars would be one trillion, one billion dollar bills. If you had a sextillion dollars, your family would be rich for generations until the end of time. I’m guessing.

So basically, don’t plan a trip to the edge of the universe, unless you have 500 sextillion dollars laying around in a retirement account.