Text messages tapped out in 2008…over 1 Trillion!

by Mike
Posted April 3rd, 2009 at 7:10 am

As you read the title above, think about how much 1 Trillion truly is.  That is how many text messages we sent in 2008 according to CITA’s CEO, Steve Largent.  I’m sure the the girl who sent over 30,000 text messages in one month played a small part in attaining this astonishingly lofty number.  But is it surprising?  With the number of wireless subscribers in the billions and phones with either half qwerty mashups like RIM’s suretype keyboard or full qwerty keyboards, texting has becoming the new defacto standard for quick communication (to the dismay and disgust of many of the older folk).  However, it isn’t too late older folk.  Come join us younger youths and learn the ever changing language that we call English.  Just for fun, come inside and see what 1 trillion pennies looks like and truly grasp just how large a number and quantity 1 trillion is!

  • 1 trillion = 1,000,000,000,000
  • 1 trillion seconds is 31,701.8 years -Neanderthals stalked the plains of Europe
  • a picture is worth a thousand in this case, trillion words.  Below is an example of how much space roughly 1 trillion pennies would take up (picture and info from Kokogiak.com).

One trillion, sixteen thousand six hundred and forty Pennies
[ One cube measuring 273 x 273 x 273 feet ]

  • Value of 1,000,000,016,640 pennies: $10,000,000,166.40  (Ten billion, one hundred and
    sixty-six dollars and forty cents)
  • weight: 3,125,000 metric tons
  • height stacked (penny on top of penny): 986,426 miles
  • area (laid flat): 89,675.2 acres

Now, the 1 trillion penny cube compared to some other large man made structures.  Of course in scale and from left to right there is the same football field from above, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, 1 Trillion penny cube, Empire State building (1,250), and finally the Sears Tower (1,450 feet).

You may be asking yourselves, “Would 1 trillion pennies fill the Sears Tower?”.  That would be a definite “No”.  It would actually take quite a bit more pennies to attain that feat (obviously by looking at the picture above) -  2,623,684,608,000 to be exact ( two trillion, six hundred twenty-three billion, six hundred eighty-four million, six hundred and eight thousand) pennies!

1 Trillion is a  huge number even with something as small as pennies.  Just imagine what 1 trillion quarters would look like!  So how long do you think it will be until we reach 1 quadrillion text messages in a year?  Is it even humanly possible?  Mathematicians?  Let’s say we go with figures of 4.5 billion mobile users.  How many text messages per user would they have to send in order to crack 1 quadrillion text messages in one year?  Leave the answer below!

Source: Phone Arena, Tysk News, Kokogiak

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7 ResponsesLeave a comment
  • Nick
    January 29, 2010 at 10:23 am

    1 text every two minutes is 30 texts an hour which is 720 texts a day equaling 21900 texts a month so, 262800 texts a year X 4.5 billion people = 1.2 quadrillion texts.

    Answer, just under 1 text every two minutes of every minute of every hour each day every month for a year by every single user… that’s a lot of T9

  • my spoon pics
    April 4, 2009 at 12:09 am

    Thank god for twitter, perhaps texting will go away and our streets will be safer.

  • Rich in Austin
    April 3, 2009 at 11:48 am


    Thanks a TRILLION for that article. I am astounded and I have started collecting my pennies for my big pile.

    Rich Z

    • Mike
      April 3, 2009 at 1:06 pm

      Haha, Rich you clever devil you…”TRILLION”…I get it!

  • Susan
    April 3, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Totaly amazing with the comparrisons. Great job! You have stimulated my mind and also my fingers!

  • Gin
    April 3, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Great article! You really put that number in perspective for me. I will do my best to contribute to next years’ texting total! ;)

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