From the tragic to the extraordinary, the news of 2021 was defined in part by extremely large numbers. We read statistics that boggled our minds, while also reading of advances in wealth and technology that boggled our minds. All these stories contained numbers — extremely large numbers — that were deployed to help us make sense of our reality, even if those selfsame numbers were hard to wrap our minds around at times. That is somewhat typical of these large numbers: They challenge us to push our minds to the limit in order to fully take in their significant sizes.

Numbers can make us feel small

From health statistics to record temperatures to the net worth of our most famous billionaires, sometimes it seemed like every news story included a defining number that was unforgettable as well as being extremely large. Such was the nature of 2021 (itself the largest number of year up to this point) that so much of what captured our attention and drove the national conversation was defined by these extremely large numbers. Perhaps future historians will refer to 2021 as “The Year Of Extremely Large Numbers,” or (more comically) “The Year That Was Our Calculators’ Worst Nightmare Because Of The Numbers.” In any event, we will never forget the numbers of 2021.

Let us remember them once more. Here are the TOP TEN EXTREMELY LARGE NUMBERS OF 2021:

10. Extremely large terrific numbers

9. Massively enormous extremely large numbers

8. Six billion and five hundred per second at least

7. (TIE): Extremely large scary numbers / Numbers that were so extremely large you would text them to your friends with a simple “WTF” in order to emphasize their largeness

6. Extremely large numbers that spurred our imagination, pushing us to the edge of madness (and delight, perhaps, for those of us who are quirky)

5. “Damn, I’m so happy about the extremely large — and WONDERFUL — numbers of 2021″

4. Numbers that are so gigantic you just can’t comprehend how damn big they are … and that’s OK

3. When we saw the latest extremely large numbers and almost forgot how small they used to be

2. Five trillion times ten thousand-million … SQUARED … DOUBLED … and then QUADRUPLED

1. The greatest extremely large numbers of the year!!!