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  • Writer's pictureChung van Gog and GPT-4

The Cosmic Ingredients of Our Existence: A Gentle Guide to Our Elemental Origins

Updated: 6 days ago


your body is about 99% oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus, and about 1% potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium. therefore, in the breathtaking tapestry of our being, we are 10% echoes of the Big Bang, 22% remnants of dying low-mass stars, a mere 0.006% forged in the explosive demise of white dwarfs, 0.3% shaped by the slow dance of radioactive decay, a trace 0.001% born from cosmic ray collisions, and a remarkable 70% composed of the legacy left by dying high-mass stars, all weaving together in a cosmic ballet to create the intricate and awe-inspiring masterpiece that is the human body. in the wondrous mosaic of our existence, we are a beautiful blend of cosmic events and processes that have taken place across the vast reaches of time and space. each component of our being tells the story of the Universe and the celestial forces that have shaped us. let's explore the diverse origins of the elements that make up our bodies and see how they connect us to the cosmos.

imagine that the human body is a grand artwork, where each stroke of color represents the elements that constitute us. in this mesmerizing portrait, we find that we are:

  • 10% echoes of the Big Bang, the magnificent event that marked the birth of the Universe and provided us with the simplest of elements, like hydrogen and helium.


  • 22% remnants of dying low-mass stars, which have patiently crafted elements like carbon and nitrogen through nuclear fusion, essential building blocks for life.


  • A tiny 0.006% forged in the explosive demise of white dwarfs, where intense heat and pressure give rise to some heavier elements.


  • 0.3% shaped by the slow dance of radioactive decay, a process that transforms unstable atomic nuclei into more stable ones, and in doing so, creates a variety of elements.


  • a trace 0.001% born from cosmic ray collisions, high-energy particles from outer space that smash into one another and create new elements in the process.


  • and a remarkable 70% composed of the legacy left by dying high-mass stars. these stellar giants produce a wide array of elements through fusion and ultimately explode in spectacular supernovae, scattering their elemental bounty throughout the cosmos.

as we embrace our cosmic origins, we come to appreciate the intricate and awe-inspiring connections that exist between us and the Universe. our bodies are a testament to the celestial ballet of cosmic events and processes that have unfolded over eons, weaving together a tapestry that tells the story of the Universe and the forces that have shaped it. so, the next time you gaze into the night sky, remember that you, too, are an essential part of this cosmic masterpiece, and your very existence is a reflection of the grand symphony of the cosmos.








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