Did you know that it takes around 8 minutes for light to get to Earth from the Sun?
Well, after you watch this video, you’ll never forget again. Titled Riding Light, the short film/animation attempts to recreate what it would be like to be a ray of light travelling from the Sun all the way to beyond the orbit of Jupiter.
And get this: it’s 45 minutes long. 45 excruciating minutes.
The video begins with you leaving the Sun’s hot, blistering surface, moving backwards rapidly. At the edges of the screen, you’ll see a little counter showing how much time you have to the next planet — in this case, Mercury. Curious, I watched as the sun became smaller and smaller as I travelled away.
By the end of the first minute, I was painfully bored. And while I forced myself to keep watching until I reached Mercury, which included 3 minutes of watching the Sun gradually shrink, I was shocked by the second that Mercurcy came — and passed — me, like a bug flying off your windscreen and past your car windows.
The same happened when Earth came, a mere 2 seconds of airtime before it became too small to see. Talk about feeling insignificant.
The amazing thing about this video is that you’ll probably never watch the whole thing without jumping ahead. Up until this video existed, you probably never even thought that the speed of light was so damn slow.
The video is scientifically flawed of course, in terms of showing what you would actually see while travelling at the speed of light — the same light that helps us see anything at all — but the distance and calculations between the Sun and planets are accurate, albeit conveniently aligned in their respective orbits.
Nonetheless, this is an existential crisis rolled into a single 45 minute film, one that may make your slow Internet connection seem less annoying — just for a second.