The Most Astounding Fact

Ever since I heard this quote from well-known astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, I’ve been completely star-struck (pun fully intended). The man is a freakin’ poet. Check out the video below.

I’ve also written out a transcript below the video, for those of you who prefer reading.

Enjoy. 🙂

“The most astounding fact… is the knowledge that the atoms that comprise life on Earth, the atoms that make up the human body, are traceable to the crucibles that cooked light elements into heavy elements in their core under extreme temperatures and pressures. These stars, the high-mass ones among them, went unstable in their later years. They collapsed and then exploded, scattering their enriched guts across the galaxy. Guts made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and all the fundamental ingredients of life itself. These ingredients become part of gas clouds that condense, collapse, form the next generation of solar systems, stars with orbiting planets. And those planets now have the ingredients for life itself.

“So then when I look up at the night sky, and I know that, yes, we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I look up – many people feel small ‘cause they’re small and the universe is big – but I feel big because my atoms came from those stars. There’s a level of connectivity. That’s really what you want in life: you want to feel connected, you want to feel relevant. You want to feel like you’re a participant in the goings-on of activities and events around you. That’s precisely what we are just by being alive.”

5 thoughts on “The Most Astounding Fact

  1. What an empowering perspective! Reading/listening to the works of late British-born American philosopher and writer Alan Watts has had a similar effect on me. Here are a couple of his quotes:

    “You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.”

    “As the ocean ‘waves’, the universe ‘peoples’. Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated ‘egos’ inside bags of skin.”

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