Zoomable cell size application helps you understand size of tiny things


17 Responses to “Zoomable cell size application helps you understand size of tiny things”

  1. cinemajay says:

    Very cool, though I would have liked it to zoom out just enough to make the coffee bean actual size.

  2. chroma says:

    A friend of mine did this one, in a similar vein:


  3. benher says:

    I can’t adequately explain just how much I have always wanted to have a visual explanation of this very scale… containing several of these very objects. Thank you!

  4. notnigella says:

    what a cool tool!

  5. KenHirsch says:

    The size of the nucleus in the carbon atom is off by a factor of about 10,000. If you expand the nucleus to the size of one pixel, the carbon atom would be too big to fit on your screen. It would be more than 40 feet in diameter.

    Ain’t that something?

  6. RedShirt77 says:

    Why does it not zoom all the way out to real size?



    If The Eiffel Tower were the size of a walnut, then the Earth would be 6.1 times the size of the Eiffel Tower.

    Fucking profound

  7. warreno says:

    Good non-god, I love vector art, especially for its more or less infinite scalability. Very groovy little simulation.

  8. maoinhibitor says:

    This is a truly cool visualization. I played with this for a while trying to get a better feel for the relative scale of things. Reminds me of Powers of Ten

  9. Dewi Morgan says:

    “Actual size” it tricky on an app like that (for example, imagine it running on an iPhone, or at least a phone that can do flash, like the N900) – but yeah, I’d like to have seen it try, and maybe even zoom further out, too.

  10. maoinhibitor says:

    Or, better yet, Powers of Ten (film)

  11. Moniker says:

    I’ve always enjoyed these sorts of things. It’s interesting to wrap one’s mind around the staggering scales involved. I recall seeing a video a few years back which went from the cosmic scale, to the atomic and back again. Something like these:
    Star and planet sizes:

    Also, is it just me, or does the lone carbon atom seem to be larger than the carbon atoms in the adenine?

  12. knodi says:

    It doesn’t help me understand the size of tiny things at all! It messes with my intuition, because I want to say “I can see a grain of salt with my naked eye, so I could definitely see something half that size.” “Oh, only a couple of paramecium could fit on a grain of salt. That’s not so small”

    And so on and so on, until I convince myself that if I really squint hard enough I can see electron shells.

    Still mindblowing, though! ;-)

  13. apoxia says:

    This is the coolest thing I have seen for quite some time :)

  14. Anonymous says:

    Now to just remove the log scale and make you manually scroll

  15. MichaelSlezak says:

    Very, very cool.

  16. demidan says:


    You are here……………………….X

    …And Zaphod still remained sane (?)

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