Pennies get no respect. Their mineral composition fluctuates — they’re mostly zinc now, though they’ll return to bronze in 2009. People treat them like trash, often tossing them on the ground rather than keeping them. But some people know that pennies are treasures. Sure you can make spiders out of dollar bills, but you can build towers from pennies. BIG towers:

Kokogiak Media has created a fun exercise using pennies.

Visualizing huge numbers can be very difficult. People regularly talk about millions of miles, billions of bytes, or trillions of dollars, yet it’s still hard to grasp just how much a “billion” really is. The “>MegaPenny Project aims to help by taking one small everyday item, the U.S. penny, and building on that to answer the question: “What would a billion (or a trillion) pennies look like?

One million pennies don’t seem overwhelming. But one billion pennies seems like a lot. Ten billion pennies would line an athletic field ten-feet deep. At a trillion pennies our stack is beginning to look like a Borg cube. (Or maybe it’s one quadrillion pennies.)

One million cows (a “megamoo”) would take up as much space as the Empire State building. But how would you spend them?