E.T.'s Phone Call Home Would Cost a Mind-Boggling Amount of Money in 2022

E.T.'s Phone Call Home Would Cost a Mind-Boggling Amount of Money in 2022
Image credit: Universal Pictures

How much does it theoretically cost to call someone on the Moon? It'll be about $1000.

At the same time, calling Mars would set you back about $650,000 – that looks expensive and you are not going to be doing it regularly or even on special occasions. But if your grandma has chosen Saturn as the planet she's going to retire to, it would cost you a stunning $3.2 million to call her and wish her a Merry Christmas.

The sums were calculated by, a privately held international telecommunications provider based in Los Angeles, California. The calculations were made as part of a project to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1982 Steven Speilberg film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, focusing on one particular scene in the film.

Remember when an alien named E.T. from the planet Brodo Asogi calls home from California? The fun goal was to calculate how much that could potentially cost.

Enthusiasts at Tollfreeforwarding used all their wits and knowledge to come up with the exact amount – the number they came up with was an astounding $76 quadrillion, or $76,424,516,944,816,700.00. Imagine getting a phone bill like that!

How did Tollfreeforwarding come up with this figure in the first place? They did proper research, and the starting point was the facts given in the movie's promotional materials.

So it is known that Brodo Asogi is located at a distance of 3,000,000 light-years from the planet Earth. We know that a light year is 5,865,696,000,000,000 miles, so to calculate the distance from Earth to Brodo Asogi, we just have to multiply that by 3,000,000. You get 17,597,088,000,000,000,000,000 miles. It's pretty hard to imagine that distance, let alone write it down for you.

E.T.'s Phone Call Home Would Cost a Mind-Boggling Amount of Money in 2022

Next, they calculated the cost per mile of an "international call" from California. They made a list of the cost per minute of a call to literally every country in the world and multiplied it by 10 to get the cost of a 10-minute phone call. That was pretty easy. Then restless telecom workers calculated the cost per mile for each country by dividing the cost of each 10-minute call by the distance to each of the countries from California. The average cost that they got was $0.004343021 per mile.

The only thing left to do was to multiply 17,597,088,000,000,000,000 miles by the cost of $0.004343021 per mile. This is how we came up with $76 quadrillion.

The question now is how much it will cost to call from the ice planet Hoth to, say, the wedge-shaped Imperial Star Destroyer floating in a galaxy far, far away.