But what exactly is a mole?
The most common comparison is that a mole is like a dozen. You know that there are 12 eggs in one dozen eggs. You know that there are 12 cars in one dozen cars. In fact, it's silly for me to continue the example - there are 12 of anything in one dozen of that thing. The term "mole" is the same, except instead of 12 in a dozen there are 602,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 in one mole. Remember that chemists study atoms and molecules, which are very small. While one mole may seem like a huge number (and it is) there are a huge number of molecules surrounding us - 18 mL of water contains roughly one mole of water molecules.
But maybe that doesn't shock you. You have no real concept of the size of an atom, so let's look at some examples of bigger things:
- If I were to stack one mole of quarters on top of each other it would reach to the moon and back 1,370,000,000,000 times.
- Speaking of money, the US deficit is a hot button issue. However, if I had a mole of dollars I would have enough to pay for it myself 37 billion times.
- One mole of Oreos has enough calories to fill the recommended daily intake for the entire world population - for 10 billion years.
- If you were to eat all those Oreos at once, you'd have to run around the earth 99,000,000,000,000,000 times to burn off the calories of your midnight snack.1
 Perhaps I could be accused of writing this late while contemplating a plate of cookies. I can neither confirm nor deny...
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