Saturday, August 27, 2011

Kid Questions

{I considered spelling "questions" with a K for alliterations sake, but it looked really stupid. So yeah. It's the thought that counts, right?}

When I was about three, I wanted to know lots of things. Most of my questions had pretty easy answers:

"Why did God make spiders?" To keep the other insects from growing too numerous.
"Where do trees come from?" They grow from seeds.
"Do you love me?" Of course.

But then there were the questions that made my dad look at me and say, "That's a really good question."

"Did Adam and Eve have bellybuttons?"
"What is fire made of?"
"Do dogs have allergies?"

And then there was The Question that my parents just couldn't get at all:

"How many places are there?"

When you're three, it seems like an extremely simple question. However, my parents couldn't get me to clarify what I meant.

"Do you mean how many countries?" Daddy asked.

"No," I said, staring at him. "Places. How many places are there in the world?"

"We don't know what you mean," Momma said. "Do you mean how many cities, or continents, or countries? You have to be more specific."

"How many PLACES ARE THERE?" I was getting a little frustrated at this point. "How many PLACES IN THE WORLD!"

Needless to say, we never got much farther on that subject, but it really bugged me for a while.

Of course fourteen years later I had forgotten all about it--until my dad brought it up at the dinner table today.

"Do you remember asking that?" he said, grinning. "'How many places are there?!' I'm gonna laugh when your kids ask you the same thing.

"Yeah," I laughed. "But we have Google now. I'll actually find out."

My mom was incredulous. "Right, go ask Google 'how many places are there.'"

"You'd have to be more specific," my dad said thoughtfully, triggering childhood deja vu.

"But you really could figure that out," I said, frowning. "What I meant was, like, this chair is a place. Outside in the yard, that's a place. The neighbor's yard is another place. Like, a four-foot area that you're standing in. That's a PLACE."

"Oh," Daddy said, getting excited in his we're-on-the-verge-of-a-tiny-breakthrough way. "Oh, okay! Well, see, we didn't know what you meant when you were little."

"I know," I said. "I remember that, and I still know exactly what I meant. I can just explain it better now. And I bet we could really find out."

We all kind of looked at each other.

I ran to get a laptop.

According to CIA World Fact Book, there are 148.94 million square kilometers of land on earth.
If you consider a "place" to be about a 2-ft squared area, you have to convert that to kilometers, which is kind of a pain in the butt. But it's 0.0006096.
Then you have to divide 148.94 million square kilometers by 0.0006096 kilometers, and you get...


There are two hundred forty-four billion three hundred twenty-four million one hundred forty-six thousand nine hundred eighty-two "places" in the world!

Wow. That is a load off my mind.

My three-year-old self can now rest in peace.



  1. Hi, so I just noticed that you commented on one of my blog posts a long time ago. I didn't realize anyone had actually read my blog xD Anyway, I started reading your blog and it is quite interesting. We should be friends. (:

  2. Haha, I know the feeling XD Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy it :) We should.