Skip navigation
No more
Know more

Finitude is the human condition and our days on this earth are numbered, in one chart

Finitude is the human condition and our days on this earth are numbered, in one chart

Tim Urban published this chart at Wait But Why in May. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long already. Whenever you look back on the summer that has just ended, you find yourself wondering where the time went, even if a single week of sunshine can seem, in the moment, like an eternity in heaven. The fact is that there are only so many weeks in a summer, and only so many in a year, and only a few dozen years in a life, even if you’re fortunate enough to be born in the United States and not in Sierra Leone, where the life expectancy is less than 50 years.

When the interval allotted to each human being is divided up and parceled out and laid in a grid in discrete units, its shortness becomes inescapable. You can really count them — so make each one count.

Many thanks to Wait But Why for sharing Urban’s work with Know More. Data from Gallup, Pew, the Census, and elsewhere.

Max Ehrenfreund | August 25, 2014 at 9:54 am
Know more: Einstein's and Newton's accomplishments, in weeks
No more
Know more
The most expensive paintings sold in Europe, in one gorgeous map
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Map: How the price of marijuana varies around the U.S.
Ana Swanson
ADVERTISEMENT
No more
Know more
Where Europe’s population is growing and shrinking, in 1 map
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Google’s image recognition brings a whole new meaning to cloud watching
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Where America’s biggest ancestral group — Germans — live in the U.S.
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Charted: Marriage and divorce since since 1867
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
The first American woman went to space 32 years ago today — 20 years after the Soviets
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
How poverty and hate crime go hand-in-hand in America
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Where the world’s fresh water is disappearing the fastest
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
A map shows how much your state contributes to the U.S. economy
Ana Swanson