How Much Are You Worth?

“What are you worth? One author discusses our value in terms of the number of atoms in your body. We’re made up of about eight octillion atoms- that’s an 8 with 27 zeros after it. To help us comprehend that number, Dr. Donald Andrews of Johns Hopkins University uses the following illustration.

Imagine a snowstorm of peas falling from the sky. When the entire state of Pennsylvania is four feet deep in peas, we have about 1 quintillion peas – but we are still nine zeros short. So we need more peas. Let’s bury all of the land areas on the earth with peas to a depth of four feet. Now we have about 1 sextillion peas – still six zeros short of the total that we need. So let’s surface the entire earth- even the ocean – with four feet of peas. And let’s go out into space and get 250 more planets the same size as earth and smother them with four feet of peas. Now we have 1 septillion peas – but we are still three zeros short of an octillion. To finish the picture we will have to go into deep space and get 250,000 more planets the size of earth and dump four feet of peas on them. Now you have an octillion peas – the same as the number of atoms in your body.

How does that translate into worth? A Dupont report analyzed the potential energy in the atoms of your body. It was a staggering 11 million kilowatt hours per pound! On our last electric bill we paid 7 cents per kilowatt hour. So if you weigh 100 pounds, your potential worth in electrical power would be $77 million.” So what are you worth??

Reprinted from Nature Quest
by James and Priscilla Tucker

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