|The GSA Geologic Time Scale, not actually to scale, from http://www.geosociety.org/science/timescale/timescl.pdf.|
All those numbers and colors can be intimidating, so I find it's helpful to try and explain deep time to people in a way they can relate to. Some use a 12 or 24 hour clock as an analogy. Others use a calendar year. I swear one time in ELT we used a role of receipt paper. But my favorite analogy is one I always have on hand...
... GET IT!?!?
It's the human arm. And it serves as a pretty good point of reference. I'm not sure where I first learned it (probably from Merck and Holtz), but it goes a little something like this:
|The Geologic Time Scale... kind of to scale... on my arm.|