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What does Octodecillion look like?

Octodecillion is an enormously large number – a 1 followed by 57 zeros. At first glance, it’s almost impossible to wrap your head around how huge it really is. Let’s break it down step-by-step to get a better sense of the true scale of an octodecillion.

How Do You Write Octodecillion?

First, let’s start with the basics: how do you actually write out this huge number? Octodecillion is written as follows:


That’s a 1 followed by 57 zeros – no small feat to write out! As you can see, the number is massive.

Octodecillion in Scientific Notation

Scientific notation provides a more compact way to express very large (or very small) numbers. In scientific notation, octodecillion is written as:

1 x 10^57

The ^57 means the 1 is multiplied by 10, 57 times over. This makes the number much easier to comprehend compared to writing all those zeros out.

Octodecillion as a Fraction

We can also express octodecillion as a fraction of smaller numbers:

Octodecillion = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 / 1

When written as a fraction like this, you can really grasp how enormous this number is compared to the humble 1 in the denominator.

The Exponent of Octodecillion

The exponent expresses how many times 10 is multiplied by itself to arrive at octodecillion. As mentioned above, the exponent is 57. This means:

10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 [57 times over]

Each time you multiply 10 by itself, the number grows exponentially. Getting all the way up to 57 multiplications makes the number extraordinarily huge.

Octodecillion in Words

Let’s now write out octodecillion in words, for an even more graspable representation of this giant number:

One octodecillion

Seeing it written out like this helps put it into perspective! It’s far more tangible than just a 1 followed by 57 zeros.

The Origins of Octodecillion

The word “octodecillion” comes from Latin roots. It breaks down as follows:

  • Octo: Means “eight”
  • Deci: Means “ten”
  • Illion: Denotes a very large number, e.g. million, billion

Put together, octodecillion quite literally translates to “eight ten illion” – a number with 58 digits. Understanding the etymology makes it a bit simpler to grasp.

Octodecillion Compared to a Googol

To better understand the scale of octodecillion, let’s compare it to another very large number – a googol. A googol is 1 followed by 100 zeros. Here’s how they look side by side:

Octodecillion: 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

Googol: 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

While both are incredibly huge numbers, a googol has over 40 more zeros than an octodecillion! This helps put the scale of octodecillion into perspective.

Octodecillion Compared to the Observable Universe

We can also grasp the magnitude of octodecillion by comparing it to the size of the observable universe. Current estimates put the number of atoms in the observable universe around 10^80. That’s an enormous number, but still dwarfed by octodecillion at 10^57. Octodecillion is far larger than the known physical universe!

Number of Atoms in Observable Universe vs Octodecillion

Atoms in Observable Universe ~10^80
Octodecillion 10^57

This table illustrates how octodecillion makes even the size of the observable universe look tiny in comparison. It’s hard to overstate just how massively huge it is.

Octodecillion in Everyday Life

To make octodecillion more tangible, let’s imagine what you could do with this number of everyday items:

  • Octodecillion grains of sand could fill the entire solar system many times over.
  • If you had an octodecillion dollars, you could likely buy the entire world economy.
  • With octodecillion Smarties candies, you could likely build a tower dozens of lightyears tall.
  • If you earned an octodecillion frequent flyer miles, you could fly to every star in the Milky Way galaxy.

These examples help provide an sense of just how unimaginably huge this number is in real-world terms. It exceeds normal human scales of understanding.

Octodecillion in Computing

In computing, numbers like octodecillion also demonstrate how limited our technology still is compared to astronomical scales:

  • No current computer could store an octodecillion bytes of data. The world’s biggest supercomputers top out at mere petabytes.
  • No computer calculation has ever approached anywhere near octodecillion operations per second. The fastest supercomputer today runs at just over 1 exaflop/s.
  • Downloading a file at octodecillion bits per second would allow you to download the internet millions of times over in a fraction of a second.

Octodecillion truly represents an unfathomable scale when it comes to potential computing power and storage space.

Octodecillion in the Universe

Looking at the broader universe also gives a sense of how huge octodecillion is on a cosmic scale:

  • There may be up to an octodecillion stars in the observable universe.
  • The number of potential planets in the universe is estimated up to octodecillion.
  • The total number of atoms in the universe is estimated at just 10^80 – dwarfed by octodecillion.

Compared to the known size of the physical cosmos, octodecillion stands out as an absolutely staggering scale.


Octodecillion is an almost unfathomably large number – far exceeding everyday human and even cosmic scales. After breaking down octodecillion in various ways, we get a humbling sense of how enormous this number truly is. Just writing out all 57 digits drives home how limited our human brains and technologies are at grappling with such astronomical figures. But exploring the magnitude of octodecillion helps expand our mathematical imaginations about the possibilities out there in the vast universe.