Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Rule #15: It is NOT a small world.

Remember, at that party last week you met this one person who knew your friend's friend really well and you found out that two other friends are actually related? Remember reacting to all this information by saying "Wow, what a small world!" and then thinking about the other time this happened? Well, I'm sorry to break your bubble, but the world isn't small at all. It's humongous, with a thousand billion things you still have never seen before, homosapiens included!

The world's largest jellyfish is longer than the tallest man alive, and the tallest sunflower gives it close competition. I read about it today, and thought that if a specie of jellyfish can be so large, and a specie of ants or a kind of amoeba can be so small, where the hell does everything else stand?! Then I remembered a beautiful site I discovered created by the guys at Nikon - The Universcale.

Nikon basically said, "Here you go. We took the universe (and all the universes that could possibly be there), we took everything inside this universe, this galaxy, this solar system and this world, and we put it on a scale. We put it all behind a lens - we either minimised so you could see it, or we maximised so YOU can SEE it!"
Then I said, "WOW" and didn't stop saying it for 2 weeks. Yes, my face definitely hurt.
On one single scale in one single interactive page, they charted everything measurable in lightyears to everything measurable in femtometres, i.e. literally everything from the universe to a single proton.
Sometimes, the loud booming voice in my head still says "WOW".

Ruled and over-run by people, people without which we would never have known that half of these things existed, important people and impoverished people, all living on this same planet - that's our world.
An entire planet, a massive "terra-sphere"if I may call it one, with a surface area of 510,072,000 square kilometres and a million times that number (this might be slightly inaccurate) of living things upon it - that's The Earth.

It's not the best place for all of us, and I'm not glorifying it (at least I know I'm not trying to). I'm not even saying "Oh we're nothing in the 'big picture' but it's so cool and bourgeois to talk about it like this." All I'm saying is that it's FUCKING MASSIVE (sorry Mom), and unfathomably so. I'm sure, somewhere in his grave, Christopher Columbus is giving me a "hellyeah".

I live in Mumbai. On a good day (which I have most of the time), I refuse to travel from my humble abode to any place more than an hour away, unless I'm going on a road-trip, or it's 2am and there's barely anyone on the streets, or both. My city itself is big enough (Wikitravel agrees - see first line of the article). There's parts of it I have never even been to in my meagre 21 years of breathing. As I sit and watch the sunset turn into the night sky - this tiny, insignificant, little me that wanders aimlessly on this speck of a planet in the universe - I'm overwhelmed by the breadth of the world and the kilometres of it I still have not crossed, and may not ever cross. I'm not going to thank anyone for this world, or for this revelation/epiphany/life. It is here, I am grateful, I have written about it and it will always stay with me.

I have no advice for you today. I have nothing else to say. I'm not high.

The Sunset I'm Seeing.

Other Interesting Links:
1. Blue Sea Snail
2. The World's Highest Peaks

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