# Mind-Boggling Numbers: How Many Square Millimeters Are in Your Home?

Do you know how many square millimeters your home is? Typically, residential area is measured in square meters, and to calculate this area in another unit, a conversion of the unit of measurement is necessary. So, do you know how many square millimeters are 1 square meter?

This question is one of the “must questions” we encounter when learning to convert units of measurement in school. Imagine a square with a side length of 1 meter cut into a checkerboard shape, with each small square having a side length of 1 mm. This chessboard has 1000 columns and 1000 rows, with a total of 1000×1000, or 1,000,000 small squares. Therefore, 1 square meter is equal to 1 million square millimeters. If you numbered all these little squares one by one, how long do you think it would take? Most people asked this question will estimate it to take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.

But actually, it takes 3 months to count to 1 million! On September 14, 2007, Jeremy Harper, a 31-year-old American living in Alabama, was selected into the Guinness Book of World Records because he was the first person to count from 1 to 1 million at once. He live broadcasted his counting process starting on June 18, 2007 on the Internet. For 89 days, Harper stayed at home, pacing back and forth in his several-square-meter living room, tirelessly counting integers in an almost chanting manner.

Our brains fumble around large numbers, and it may be hard to believe that you can’t complete the numbering in a day. But rather than trusting intuition, we should trust calculations.

In short, there are indeed 1 million square millimeters in every 1 square meter. So if you live in a 70 square meter apartment, that’s equivalent to 70,000,000 square millimeters. Look at the floor beneath your feet and imagine all the tiny 1mm squares you could cut into the floor and you’ll get an idea of the number of inhabitants in France. If you live in a single room of 15 square meters, you can get the population of Ecuador. And if you live in a 200 square meter house, you get the population of Pakistan.

If you consider the volume, the results are even more surprising. We can cut a cube with an edge length of 1 meter into three stacks of chessboards. This chessboard is composed of small cubes with an edge length of 1 mm. So there are 1000×1000×1000, which is 1 billion small cubes!

Try to imagine there are 3 such cubes in front of you. If each small cube represented 1 second, then you would be looking at 95 years! This is equivalent to a long human lifetime. In an apartment with an area of 70 square meters and a ceiling height of 2.5 meters, there are as many cubes with an edge of 1 millimeter as many seconds that have elapsed since the end of prehistory and the invention of writing!