Join a shared 13.8-billion-year exploration of nature with a science-minded duo, Charles Darwin (he lives!), the planet's most curious dogs and an amazing spectrum of scientists and naturalists
Why Explore the Last 13.8 Billion Years?
(And why is that number worth remembering?)
Imagine counting from one to 13,800,000,000 (that's 13.8 billion). Let's say you spoke one number each second, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
You would never finish. If you counted for 75 years, then your child counted for the next 75 years, then his/her child counted for the next 75 years, and so on, the person who finally reached 13.8 billion would be your great-great-great grandchild. You would be long gone.
The count would have taken 437 years.
The Brain Room at The Naturalist's Notebook in Seal Harbor. It's a hands-on drawing and writing nook—pink like your brain—where 13.8-billion-year minds grow and branch out.
It's hard to grasp 13.8 billion. Your brain struggles to picture that many of anything.
But if there is one number you should learn and ponder for the rest of your life, it's13.8 billion.
That's because the universe—the place where we all live; our home—is 13.8 billion years old. (Don't even try to imagine that many candles on a birthday cake.)
That long, long span of time is important. You wouldn't be here today (at least not in your present form) if there hadn't been 13.8 billion years for the universe to form, for Earth to become a planet with air and water, for mountains to grow high and oceans to grow deep, and for humans and all other forms of life to evolve. You are a 13.8-billionaire!
So plant that number in your brain. It will help you understand the planet you stand on and the biological creature that you are. And have fun digging into all the ways that we at The Naturalist's Notebook explore the last 13.8 billion years, such as:
•A spectrum-color-coded 13.8-billion-year timeline that we invented
Here's a portion of a spectrum-coded timeline installation—one of the many timeline variations we have created—in our Northeast Harbor space. We call these gold frames ancestral frames because they contain portraits of the stages of our deep history. Visitors can pose in the final frame and become part of their ancestral history going back 13.8 billion years, to when their Aunt and Uncle Hydrogen burst onto the scene as the universe's first atoms.
•Hueman, our spectrum-coded human timeline figure, which embodies the natural events and forces that shaped our species over the last 13.8 billion years
Two of our Hueman figures at The Nauralist's Notebook in Seal Harbor in 2013. Each color represents a layer of history in the evolution of the universe. The pink on top represents the future. Did we tell you that Hueman recently visited Buckingham Palace in London? Check back here soon for photos and the full story!
O.K., so here's another teaser: Hueman, the human embodiment of The Naturalist's Notebook's color-coded timeline of the last 13.8 billion years, arriving at Buckingham Palace. Those numbers are millions or billions of years.
•Our 13.8-billion-year spectrum-coded Notebook Pages, a series of poster-like presentations of the history of the universe that fit together to make a 13.8-billion-year notebook
The Notebook Pages on the wall in our Seal Harbor space. We continue to revise and improve them and plan to eventually incorporate them in a science-and-art installation that could hang in schools.
•Our 13.8-billion-year-themed buildings, staircases, artwork, animal figures, furniture, games, pop-culture twists, food (when was the last time you drank a glass of Blueberry Silurian Oceanade or ate a slice of dinosaur cake? we did so for Pamelia's last birthday) and more.
Let's hear it for Huedog. Canines deserve their own colorful timeline figure, so we've created it.
Humans and dinosaurs didn't live at the same time, so they never ate us and we never ate them. This dino was a vegetarian anyway. But at a Naturalist's Notebook 13.8-billion-year dinner, you can have a slice of dessert from 150 million years ago.
We'll be telling and showing you more about these and other projects in the months ahead. Get your 13.8-billion-year brain ready.