So I applied my new registration sticker to my license plate today. Like a lot of lazy people, I usually just wipe the dust off the sticker from the previous year and stick the new one on top of it. I’ve been doing this for the last ten years, leaving me with a sticker stack about 1mm thick.

Then I got to wondering what would happen if I started applying stickers say, 4.54 billion years ago at the time the Earth was formed. How big of a sticker stack would I have?

If each sticker is about 1/10th of a millimeter, 4.54 billion stickers would give me a sticker stack that’s 454 kilometers (282 miles) thick, which is roughly the driving distance between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. In other words, in order to apply a new registration sticker to my car that’s parked in Los Angeles, I would have to rent another car and drive for five hours through the desert before I reached the end of the stack.

A lot of crazy stuff can happen on the drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, just as a lot of even crazier stuff can happen in 4.54 billion years.