How big is ONE BILLION?

Posted on April 02, 2011

You hear the word all the time, billion… but how big is one billion? It’s a 1 followed by nine zeros (1,000,000,000). That doesn’t seem very big, but it’s 1,000 MILLIONS. If you wanted to spend one billion dollars… You could spend a million dollars a year for 1,000 years OR you could spend a million dollars a MONTH for 83 years and 4 months. That’s a long time!!

I thought I would break ONE BILLION into chunks we can all understand, in units of seconds and miles (time and distance).

How long is a BILLION seconds?

  • 1,000 seconds (1 thousand) = 16 minutes and 40 seconds
  • 1,000,000 seconds (1 million) = 11 days, 13 hours, 46 minutes, 40 seconds
  • 1,000,000,000 seconds (1 billion) = 31 years, 251 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes, 53 seconds

If you counted up to ONE BILLION, one number per second, it would take you almost 32 years without ever stopping (not even to sleep)!!

How far is a BILLION miles?

The average distance between the Earth and the Moon is about 238,857 miles. If you traveled ONE BILLION miles you would be able to go to the moon and back to Earth about 2,093 times (it took Apollo 7, first landing on the moon, about 3 days and 4 hours to go one-way to the moon). That is the same distance as traveling around our ENTIRE planet more than 41,158 times along the equator.

If you were on the Space Shuttle travelling at full speed (which can travel at speeds up to 17,500 MPH; that is more than 23 times the speed of a 9mm bullet leaving a gun), it would take you 6.52 years to travel ONE BILLION miles.

So how big is ONE BILLION? PRETTY DAMN BIG!!!


My name is Blaine, and I’ve just F*&CKed your mind. No need to thank me!

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