Crawl Across the Ocean

Saturday, November 27, 2004

The Trillion Pound Gorilla

So I was on the bus the other day, and it was pretty crowded and I got to thinking:

'I wonder just how much the entire human race weighs?'

It turned out to be harder to answer than I thought, but it seems that the world population is around 6.4 billion, with an average weight of a human being around 130 pounds or so (a rough estimate based on this site and this site).

So the total mass of humanity is in the neighbourhood of 832 billion pounds. But with both average weight and total population rising, it looks like most of us will live to see the day when the total weight of humanity crosses one trillion pounds (pop. of 7 billion with an average weight of 143 pounds would do it), as that day should occur in about 10 years or so based on current trends.

If today is 'Buy Nothing Day' then I recommend in advance that the day we cross the one trillion pound mark should be 'Eat Nothing Day'.

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  • How about Soylent Green Day?

    By Blogger Captain Flynn, at 6:45 PM  

  • Hmm, that was before my time, had to look it up but it seems like it could be appropriate, if unappetizing.

    I see that it is based on a book by Harry Harrison - and I loved his "Deathworld" (a true sci-fi classic) so maybe I'll have to check it out sometime.

    By Blogger Declan, at 6:58 PM  

  • And if you gave them each one square metre, they could all fit into Prince Edward Island.

    (Okay, 0.9 m^2.)

    Hard to believe, eh?

    By Blogger Andrew Spicer, at 8:06 PM  

  • A couple of comments.

    When I'm on a crowded bus, I'm amazed at the number of people who feel that they're entitled to occupy more than one seat. What's up with that?

    Secondly, I found the remark that we could fit the world's population on PEI to be an interesting one. And it got me thinking, is a trillion pounds a lot? I wonder how that would compare to the combined weight of everything on the island today. For argument's sake, I'd consider the existing transportation infrastructure (roads, railways) to be part of the island and just limit my analysis to all above ground structures, objects, and inhabitants. No answers here, just stupid questions.

    By Blogger Skeeter, at 3:13 PM  

  • If it helps provide some context, in the course of trying to track down the total weight of humanity, I came across a site which claimed that the total weight of humans on earth is similar to the total weight of ants. Imagine P.E.I. overrun by the (estimated) 4 quadrillion ants in the world!

    By Blogger Declan, at 5:38 PM  

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