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Existential Candy of the Day: Your Life, Visualized By Jelly Beans

In many a mall throughout the 1980s, it was common to find a contest where an enormous jar of jelly beans could be won by guessing the number of the candy treasures inside. In his latest video, Ze Frank reveals that these contests were secretly numerical metaphors for life.

The Internet’s resident philosopher-showman begins his latest video by showing off a mighty bounty of the multihued treats–28,835 of them, to be exact. These jelly beans represent the average American’s lifespan, with one a day adding up to 79 years. This sight alone would probably be enough to make a person really stop and consider how he or she was extracting as much of a sugary high as possible from each jelly bean day, but Frank takes it much further.


Over the course of the video, Frank begins to enumerate how the average person spends large chunks of their lives, and he itemizes withdrawals, which come from the jelly bean bank. We get to see what our approximately 8,477 days sleeping, 3,202 days working, and 2,676 days watching television look like when quantified. Eventually, what’s left is the number of jelly beans that comprise our solo spare time, and suddenly a video that sounds a little silly achieves profundity.

Uncalculated, however, is the amount of time spent dicking around on the Internet, which would probably be too sad to look at.

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