They say we grow up fast, but what if it wasn’t just an expression? What if, instead of living a life for 80 years, we went through our life cycles in just 24 hours?
Yeah, you heard me, 24 hours. Within a day, you would grow from a newborn baby, to a senior citizen on your death bed. What would your condensed lifestyle be like? And could this really happen to you?
Let’s face it. We’re all going to grow up. So before we speed up the clock, let’s break down how aging actually works.
The cells in your body are constantly repairing and replicating themselves. At least, they were. When you hit your 20s, the process starts to slow down and eventually stop. This is the reason why we age.
The reason why cells can’t repair themselves forever is due to a part of your DNA called telomeres. Telomeres protect the ends of our chromosomes that carry our DNA, making sure the DNA doesn’t get damaged as the cells replicate.
As we grow older, the telomeres will wear down, and aren’t able to protect your DNA anymore. The new cells can’t replace the old ones because they’re damaged goods.
Good thing you’ve got the time to work everything out, right?… Right? Wrong. Your whole lifespan is only 24 hours. Here’s a “day in the life” example. Or is it a “life in a day” example?
At 6 a.m, you’re born. Welcome to the world, little one. At 6:18 a.m, you’re already a year old. Do you know how parents always say, “the first year goes by so fast”? Well, it did. In 18 minutes.
During that time, you’ll grow by 1.5 cm (0.6 in) per minute. Your weight will also increase by 0.3 kg (0.7 lb) per minute. Talk about a growth spurt.
Okay, it’s 6:36 a.m. You’re now 2 years old, and able to say about 50 words. Can you say, “What If?” Can you say, “subscribe?” Can you … alright, I’m moving on.
By 7:47 a.m, you’re ready for your first day of school! You’re now 6 years old. The average person spends 13 years of their life in school. But you’ll only spend about 3 hours and 51 minutes there.
9:16 a.m. You’ll start going through puberty at 11 years of age. We’re going to have to talk about the birds and the bees before lunch, aren’t we?
11:20 am. Happy 18th birthday!
12:22. You’ve just graduated from college and are now 21.5 years old. You always said you were going to work on your career before finding love, but you may want to speed that up.
The average person spends about 13 months being romantic. For you, this is just over 18 minutes. That’s the ultimate example of speed dating.
1:24 p.m. You’ve found your significant other! And what’s this? You’re starting a family? Normally it would take 9 months, but for you, it’s only 13 minutes! Oh, by the way, you’re 25 years old now.
1:37 p.m. Your baby is born. Congratulations! But raising a family is no easy task, and you need a job. This is a shame, because out of your 24-hour life, you’ll lose about four hours working at your day job.
2:53 p.m. Happy 30th birthday!
6:00 p.m. Happy 40th birthday! Woah… this is going kind of fast…
8.49 p.m. Happy 50th birthday! At this point, your hair is going gray, and there are wrinkles on your face. Life is going by so fast. You’ll probably start your midlife crisis. Should you buy a motorcycle?
01:16 a.m. You’re 65 now, and it’s time for retirement. Enjoy some rest and relaxation.
6 a.m. At 81 years old, you’ve passed on from this mortal plane. I will always cherish our time together.
Thankfully, a condition like living 80 years in 24 hours doesn’t actually exist. But it does make us think about how important it is to use the time we have. Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Aging can be a tough ride. But what if you didn’t have to worry about getting old? What if we never aged?
- “We’ve Broken Down Your Entire Life Into Years Spent Doing Tasks”. 2020. huffingtonpost.com.au.
- “2019 Human Development Index Ranking | Human Development Reports”. 2020. hdr.undp.org.
- “Your Life In Numbers – The Sleep Matters Club”. Curtis, Gemma. 2017. The Sleep Matters Club.
- “The Science of Getting Old”. 2020. visual.ly.
- “Are Tiny Telomeres The Key To Aging?”. Webmd.
- “Baby milestone: Talking | Babycenter”. 2020. Babycenter.
- “What If You Lived for Only 24 Hours”. 2020. Babycenter.