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This Video Compares Moles of Different Things, Like Carbon Atoms and Eggs


In a new edu-tainment video animator MetaBallStudios has assembled a comparison of moles—a standard unit of measurement amounting to around 600 sextillion distinct individual elementary entities—of things like eggs, water molecules, red blood cells, and coins.


MetaBallStudios (MBS), a Spanish animator with a knack for comparing things in mind-blowing ways, is out with a new video. In his newest animated comparison MBS (a.k.a. Alvaro Gracia Montoya) compares one “mole” of various things, such as eggs, red blood cells, coins, and water molecules. A mole—which is a standard unit of measurement amounting to around 600 sextillion distinct individual elementary entities—is most often used on the scale of atoms and molecules. But here, everyday sized things get the massive multiplication treatment.

As MBS notes in the above video’s description on YouTube, in this comparison he’s put “into perspective a mole of different substances such as Iron, Oxygen or Carbon.” He also notes he’s gone “a little further,” however, “by representing other elements outside of chemistry to better understand the enormous number that is Avogadro’s number.” As Britannica notes Avogadro’s number is the number of units in one mole of any substance (defined as its molecular weight in grams) and is equal to 6.02214076 × 1023. For example, if you have one mole of Lithium atoms, you have 6.94 grams of Lithium atoms—which is the equivalent of the atomic mass of Lithium (6.94) multiplied by Avogadro’s number. For one mole of Hydrogen, you’d have 1.008 grams, which is the equivalent of Hydrogen’s atomic mass (1.008) multiplied by Avogadro’s number.

Image: MetaBallStudios

As for the comparison itself, it’s quite mind blowing. Obviously the concept of the mole is largely reserved for molecules and atoms (indeed it’s an evolution of the German word Molekül, which translates to molecule), which means anything larger than those constituent pieces of matter quickly becomes… very, very large.

The comparison begins with cubes of atomic elements such as Aluminum, Iron, and Carbon, which are all only a fraction the size of a soda can. Molecules such as carbon dioxide quickly dwarf the elements on their own, however, before giving way to a spherical mole of poliovirus with a volume of approximately 1,500 cubic feet.

From there, things get truly jumbo, with a mole of red blood cells growing to become as tall as a Manhattan skyscraper; a mole of rice dwarfing the entire state of New York; and a mole of pennies that looks like it’s approximately as large as the moon Ceres.

As for the biggest mole in the video? That title belongs to a spherical mole of soccer balls, which turns out to be far larger than Earth itself. Of course, a mole of something larger than soccer balls would be even bigger. Like asteroids, for example, which MBS has also put into a virtual lineup for our education and entertainment.


Feature image: MetaBallStudios

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