Full disk image of earth

It’s a Small World – Or is It?

Earth's circumference is over 24,000 miles!

Earth’s circumference is over 24,000 miles!

“It’s a small world.”

There has never been a more popular yet misleading statement. You travel near and far only to bump into old friends or colleagues (or even distant family). When I was 16, it had been about 10 years since I last saw my first grade teacher yet there she was standing in front of me in a busy Florida airport.

Is the world small just because I bumped into her? I think not. I believe that everything is relative, including the human’s frame of reference. Just like an ant on a hill, our “world” is what we see. It doesn’t help that we travel to the same, crowded places.

If you really want to see how big the world is, travel somewhere you have never been. Go somewhere where nobody you know has ever been.

If you really want to see how big the world is, get a different perspective. Climb a mountain and see how big your world can be from up there. See how small you are too.

If you can’t travel or climb check out the pictures below to help you scale how big the world really is! Many people spent hours perusing youtube and wikipedia. I like to spend time traveling over the internet. I go on google earth and browse until I find something interesting, zoom in and try to figure out what it is. Here are some things I’ve found.

People Hiking Ayers Rock, Australia
Zoom out to see how small the people get.


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Alluvial Fan – The Gobi Desert, China
Think of it like an inland delta. That’s ~30 miles across.


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The Richat Structure, Sahara Desert, Mauritania
A giant dome mountain (25 miles across) that has eroded to nothing.


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Desert Farmers, Libya
Each crop circle is 3/4 of a mile across.


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Very Large Array, NM
Ever see the movie Contact? These are those satellite dishes.


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Grand Canyon, AZ
They call it “Grand” for a reason.


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