The sort of repeating table of things that make up everything

I really like XKCD. One of the pictures I like the most is the Up Goer Five. I sometimes use it to show other people how you can explain hard ideas using just the words people use the most.

So I got to thinking whether I could explain some of the facts about the table that we all like a lot and is 150 years old,  but just using the ten hundred words people use the most.
I ended up falling down a home made by a long eared jumping animal. But it was fun and because I spent too much time doing it I thought I might as well share it with you all.
Thanks to Theo Sanderson for making the Up-Goer Five writing thing.

You can get a big picture of the table here.

EDIT: Thanks to Emma for telling me this has been done before, so please do look at it  in Thing Explainer.


  1. Pingback: Periodic Table | Rєvєrєηdø's Błøg

  2. This is really neat! Any chance of getting a version that is a white background with black lettering?

  3. Hi Mark, Thanks alot for this blog, i have a question about iron, is there a scientific way to know the exact age of iron as an element ? something like carbon-dating but with iron.

  4. I think this table is very interesting. I enjoy how it relates the elements in the periodic table to history and everyday life. It helps me picture those tiny little atoms in something larger, and something that relates to my life. The simple vocabulary helps me retain this information and apply it to real life. I had a chemistry professor in high school that explained everything at an advanced level, and it did not help me retain the information. This table helped me understand it in simpler terms. Thank you, Mark, for explaining this table. I feel much more confident about my knowledge on the periodic table after reading your explanations.

  5. Nice post!
    Thanks for sharing it with us….
    Keep sharing more posts like this….

  6. Really such great info

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