Another way of thinking about the geological timescale

A few years ago I came across the suggestion of using an analogy of a movie to visualise geological time-scales. That is, each frame would be one year and you would view 24 frames per second. I incorporated this into a talk that I did, and then forgot about it.

I was reminded of this the other day, and redid the number crunching. The results, assuming that my maths is correct, can be seen below. I have worked out the number of seconds from this year to each event. I then worked out a more human-readable time (minutes, days, weeks and so on). I am sure that I am missing some events, so if you have anything in mind, feel free to let me know. I hope that this is interesting to some people who talk about geological times to non-geologists.

Timescale
1994 (first democratic elections in .za): 0.83s
1987 (ME!): 1.125s
1961 (first man in space): 2.2s
100 ya (WWI): 4.17s
111 ya (first powered flight): 4.625s
1820 (British settlers arrive in the Eastern Cape, +-Shaka Zulu’s mfecane): 8.1s
1652 (Jan van Riebeek arrives at the Cape): 15.1s
2000 ya (Time of Jesus): 83.3s
1 minute 23.3 seconds
2560BC (Construction of Great Pyramid of Giza completed): 190.6s
3 minutes 10.6 seconds
5500BCE (7500ya) (Kingdom of Sumer possibly established): 313.08s
5 minutes 13.1 seconds
10ka-12ka (Last Glacial Period (Ice Age) ends): 416.67s – 500s
6 minutes 56.67 seconds – 8 minutes 20 seconds
195ka (Oldest anatomically modern human fossils): 8 125s
2 hours 15 minutes 25 seconds
6.5Ma (First known hominin fossils): 270 833s
3 days 3 hours 13 minutes 53 seconds
10Ma (Grasslands and savannah appear): 416 666s
4 days 19 hours 44 minutes 26 seconds
65Ma (KT boundary [dinosaur extinction]): 2 708 333s
31 days 8 hours 18 minutes 53 seconds
100Ma (Bees appear in the fossil record): 4 166 666s
48 days 5 hours 24 minutes 26 seconds
179Ma (Gondwana breakup begins, Drakensberg lavas emplaced): 7 458 333s
86 days 7 hours 45 minutes 33 seconds
252Ma (PT Boundary [biggest known extinction event]): 10 500 000s
121 days 12 hours 40 minutes
541Ma (Cambrian Explosion): 22 541 666.7s
260 days 21 hours 34 minutes 27 seconds
635Ma (Ediacaran fossils appear): 26 458 333s
306 days 5 hours 32 minutes 13 seconds
1100Ma (Namaqua-Natal Rocks [Kibaran Orogeny]): 45 833 333s
530 days 11 hours 28 minutes 53 seconds
2023Ma (Vredefort Impact Event): 84 291 666s
975 days 14 hours 21 minutes 6 seconds
2500Ma – 1800Ma (Deposition of most banded iron formations): 104 166 666s – 75 000 000s
1206 days – 868.1 days
3500Ma (Photosynthesis): 145 833 333s
1688 days (4.621 average Gregorian years)
3600Ma (Barberton Greenstone Belt): 150 000 000s
1736 days (4.753 average Gregorian years)
4600Ma (Formation of Earth): 191 666 666s
2218 days (6.074 average Gregorian years)

To say the least, the history of the Earth would make for rather a long movie.

For comparison, World War 2 lasted 5.95 years, or 2175 days between the invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 to the Surrender of Japan on 15 August 1945.