App

Price: $3/£3
Version: 1.0.4
Size: 260.9 MB
Developer: kurzgesagt & Wait But Why
Platform: iPhone / iPad

Universe in a Nutshell

Put simply, Universe in a Nutshell is the kind of app that’s looking to blow your mind in the most safe and entertaining way possible. Did you know the smallest animal is the same width as a silk fiber? Ouch, but also the pain of having our minds blown by that is actually subsiding pretty fast because that’s a very, very cool fact.

It all starts with the human being, you can then go either bigger or smaller

The app itself is a combined outing by animation studio Kurzgesagt and the illustrated weblog Wait But Why. This was a pleasant surprise to find out – WBW sounds downplayed when describing the site as a blog – go read their series on AI. It’s a beaut.

Tap on any icon to get an explanation. How long is a piece of string? Er, tiny, bro.

And in many ways, the website’s attention has combined their interest in sheer scale and applied it to the entire universe. The app is wonderfully animated, designed, and explained and it will plonk you down right in the middle to a size you’ll be familiar with: your average human.

From here you can pinch (or swipe) to zoom in or pull out. Zooming in will take you through a colorful journey into the minute through rice grain, to salt grain, from the mimivirus to the coronavirus. Eventually, you sail beyond the OMG particle towards the smallest know thing in the universe.

There are some interesting points where the largest earthbound objects start crossing over with the intergalactic

We won’t spoil it for you, but it takes quite a remarkable time to get there if you stop and check out the sites along the way. That’s another thing – every object represented here can be tapped on for more info. The app then provides you with a simple explanation of its scope and size, often putting it into more simplistic comparables.

Going the other way fires you off into space via some of the largest earthbound objects – both living, natural and manmade – before stranding you in some of the universe’s most mysterious voids.

Then things just kind of spiral out of control

We can picture this app being used in classrooms and homes alike and it’s a real testament to those involved and their attention to detail and will to spread scientific knowledge. This will remain a hugely relevant iOS app for years to come.

It really is a fascinating journey and the sheer amount of information is INSANE. It’s all delivered in a witty, pithy manner and at no point does it get tedious. Universe in a Nutshell is fun, highly educational, great value, and we wholeheartedly recommend it.

Universe in a Nutshell – fascinating adventures in size
Quite simply a wonderful app.
For
  • Beautifully designed
  • Impeccably written
  • Highly personable
Against
  • We don't have a bad word to say
5.0Overall Score