When you look at an ant, busily scrambling along, toing and froing back and forth, industriously doing whatever it needs to do to make its living, you notice just how small it is.

In noticing just how small the ant is, it makes you realise just how big you / we are in comparison.

Then, think of the size of our wonderful planet, Earth. That makes us seem miniscule compared to the world, and the ant, well, ultra-miniscule.

Now, expand out a little.

Think how long it took that little Mars Rover to get to Mars, which is the next planet along. Think of Jupiter, the biggest planet in our Solar System. Jupiter has a great red spot, which is as big as the Earth in circumference… in fact, Jupiter’s diameter is eleven Earths wide, its volume equivalent to 1,321 Earths. That’s big in itself.

Then think of the size of the galaxy. The Milky Way. The swirling mass of stars and other solar systems which all occupy their own part of space and time, toing and froing just as our little industrious ant.

From Earth, looking out into the Milky Way, we can see the constellations Sagittarius and Scorpio. Zodiac signs, coincidentally, that are next to each other – and from our perspective close to the centre of the galaxy.

Between the two signs is the very centre of the Galaxy itself. Sagittarius A. And within Sagittarius A, is Sagittarius A-Star, home to a black hole.

Black Holes, apparently, swallow up any and all dust clouds, suns and planets around them, and what happens to them after that is anyone’s guess! But, with there being one at the centre of the galaxy, just how far away is it from the next celestial body it will swallow up? And thinking about the millennia that the galaxy has been here, there must be some extremely vast distances involved indeed between each individual object.

Just to expand even a little further, there are many other galaxies out there as well – all with their own black holes in the centre – and some of them have probably been around a lot longer than the Milky Way has.

So that’s big.

Compare the size of the ant to the size of the galaxy. Both has its own job to do in its own space and its own time.

That’s a way to put problems into perspective. Nothing would ever be that big… even if it feels like it at the time.

All we can do is our best with our toing and froing with the time we have to do it in. We may as well feel good whilst we’re doing it.

No matter the size of our egos, we’re all the same size compared to the size of the Universe. Specks on a speck. Specks on a great speck, if you don’t mind. We may as well be great specks on a great speck… we can do it! After all, in all of that space, is anybody watching?

21 Comments

  1. This post made me think of the film Charles and Ray Eames made for IBM in 1977 called “Powers of Ten”. If you’re not familiar with it, I think you might enjoy wrapping your brain around it:

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  2. Very thought provoking. I have to admit, I’ve watched a lone wee ant often, scurrying about. They’re sort of crazy mad rushing, & interesting in their madness.

    We are bigger, yes, with a lot of potential going on.

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  3. Ah! I love thinking about this. “All we can do is our best with our toing and froing with the time we have to do it in. We may as well feel good whilst we’re doing it”. and the part about being awesome specks… YES! Also, I’d like to add that the vastness of the universe is also frightening. Think of how simply and quickly we can wipe out an entire ant bed with some frustration and a spray bottle and not think twice about it! I hope earth doesn’t turn into a pest that the universe wants to eliminate.

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  4. Errmm….Icewolf is watching!!
    Well written post, I like the way you brought it round to our problems and our egos, puts everything in perspective lol 😉
    That’s a very pleasing pic too…some of your pics have a habit of firing my imagination into all sorts of wierd creative directions! I wouldn’t post them on my blog because they’re too bizarre for that but I have some private fun writing as a consequence of the viewing of them!

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    1. Thanks, Icewolf. I did realise you were watching, but thought I’d keep that quiet for now…
      You must write your ramblings, Icewolf – if not on your main blog, on a secondary one! I love bizarre (you may or may not have noticed…), but sometimes it is good just to write in private and escape to our own little hidden corners of the Universe.
      Most of my images I find on the web, although some are my own. But anything that fires the imagination is a good thing in my book!

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      1. I’ll think about a secondary blog! I already have one but that’s topic-specific and whilst it has great potential I hardly ever get near it!! A thirdary blog could be impossible but I like the idea of rambling spot 😉

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        1. Well then, Icewolf, why don’t you set one day a week / month to one side just for a ramble?
          I do that (actually, I’ve set everyday aside but that’s a secret just between you and me…) and I think it works quite well…

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          1. Now that could be a very good idea. In fact I could do with getting organised like that with all the lesser blogs I possess and am failing miserably to do so!

            “between you and me!!!” yes! you, me and everybody else who comes a visiting the Manison of your blog site! lol 😉 But yes..setting everyday aside is a pretty smart move too and seems to work marvellously for you! 🙂

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