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
This planet has a giant ring system 200 times larger than Saturn’s
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
The long history of women in Congress
Ana Swanson
ADVERTISEMENT
No more
Know more
Why you should never start a land war in Asia, by the numbers
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
More than 20,000 foreign fighters have joined ISIS
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Racial income inequality is worse than you think
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
How much snow it takes to cancel school in your area
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
This gorgeous photo shows a view of the Rockies from the International Space Station
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
How much do the top 1 percent make in your state?
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Map: Nearly 400,000 people have been displaced in Ukraine
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
What ‘Eye of the Tiger’ and ‘Party Rock Anthem’ look like as charts
Ana Swanson
No more
Know more
Ana Swanson