Viral Facebook Page Wants To Make 'Hella' An Actual Number

You’ve probably seen some unusual Facebook Groups and Fan pages lately, and the petition to make “Hella” a real number is just one more. However its initial appeal to a small group may be ending as it’s beginning to catch fire and go viral.

The official name of the Fan page is “The Official Petition to Establish ‘Hella-‘ as the SI Prefix for 10^27.” That is, 10 to the power of 27, or ‘1’ followed by 27 zeros. The idea, which has drawn the attention of media outlets such as Fox News and Popular Science, partially stems from the use of numeric prefixes such as Mega, Giga, Tera, but originates in pop culture — namely the animated TV series South Park and elsewhere. This has prompted Austin Sendek, a physics student at University of California, Davis, petition to have “Hella-” be an official prefix.

If the petition is successful, the SI (International System of Units) would be the standards body that makes it official. The largest current prefix is “yotta” and represents 10^24 (“1” followed by 24 zeros). As in, “my movie library takes up 8 YottaBytes.” The proposed Hella- prefix would be 1,000 times Yotta-. Wow, that’s a whole lotta love bytes (apologies to Led Zeppelin).

If the SI approves “Hella-” as a numeric prefix, you just might one day hear someone say something like, “My new Space Cadets smartphone has 16 HellaBytes of storage space. I can digitize my dog and reconstruct him on the Mars station.” But with only a tad over 31,000 fans (at the time of this writing), the idea still needs traction. Check out the Hella Facebook Page if you want to join the petition, or simply check out some of the amusing comments.

I look forward to the day when my hard drive has 16 HellaBytes of space — or whatever it’s called.