You wake up every day, get out of bed, eat breakfast.
You know, “normal” stuff.
Then you stop for a moment and realize you’re eating a bowl of Cheerios on a 40,075 km round, spinning geoid, circling a massive fireball 109 times as big, careening through empty space at about 30 km per second.
You’re shielded from deadly radiation by a layer of gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. You’re sitting on a chair, which is on a floor, which rests on a tectonic plate that slowly floats above a liquid plastic asthenosphere, drifting just slightly year after year.
Your entire existence has hinged on the perseverance and survival of a species that has only existed for a paltry 200,000 years, which doesn’t even register as a blip compared to Earth’s 4.54 billion years, much less to the age of the universe itself at a little over 14 billion years.
In another 5 billion years, the Sun will die. Shortly after, Earth will either fry or be devoured, and all trace of everything you’ve ever known will simply evaporate. And the universe? It may or may not one day rip itself apart.
It’s a wonder you’re even alive, and suddenly those Cheerios don’t seem so ordinary anymore.
Image courtesy Andrew Malone.