How Much Bacteria Is On Earth?

By Antonia Čirjak on July 9 2020 in Answer

Bacteria can be found almost anywhere on the planet, deep underground, below the deepest points in the oceans, and even 40 miles high up in the atmosphere.
Bacteria can be found almost anywhere on the planet, deep underground, below the deepest points in the oceans, and even 40 miles high up in the atmosphere.
  • There are five nonillion bacteria in the Earth’s ecosystem, including the ones found in living beings. That is 5 x 10 on 30th power.
  • Less than 1% of all bacteria that exist are considered dangerous to other living beings.
  • If we stack all the bacteria on top of each other, they would create a line that would be a trillion light years away from Earth.

Bacteria are when it comes to straight numbers, the biggest population of organisms that exist on Earth. Bacteria can be found almost anywhere on the planet, deep underground, below the deepest points in the oceans, and even 40 miles high up in the atmosphere. The estimated number of bacteria that exist within the Earth’s system might shock you. You should also grab a bigger piece of paper if you want to write this down.

Five And How Much Zeros?

First, let us describe the number we are talking about. The total estimate of bacteria that live around us is five million trillion trillion. Sounds like a bunch of trillions, but the number would look like this: 5,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. An easier way of putting this would be ‘’five with 30 zeros after it’’ or, if you are a strict mathematician: 5 x 10 to the 30th power. 

Somebody calculated, taking the average size of bacteria into account how much distance would all the bacteria stacked on top of each other. As it turns out, that long chain of bacteria would extend for a trillion light-years. This sounds almost scary, more so because of the fact that we are talking about microscopic-sized organisms. Something we can not even see with the naked eye is absolutely everywhere and in absolutely everyone.

Do Not Fear The Good Bac’s!

In today’s day and age, when the world is still unable to handle the coronavirus pandemic, we have witnessed how the perspectives on hygiene and public health have massively changed. You might think that bacteria, especially when you think of that ‘’5 with 30 zeros after it’’ number, are bad for other living things. Yes, bacteria can cause various diseases and infections, but out of all the bacteria that exist around us, less than one percent would, technically speaking, be considered dangerous

Something we can not even see with the naked eye is absolutely everywhere and in absolutely everyone.
Something we can not even see with the naked eye is absolutely everywhere and in absolutely everyone.

There are plenty of other roles that the world of bacteria is responsible for, and most of it is actually beneficial to this planet. Or to our intestinal system, depending on where you look. Bacteria are capable of nitrogen level management in the soil, and they participate in various decomposing processes that our planet depends on. 

Bacteria: Protecting Our Immune System

Without a doubt, the stability of the Earth’s system largely depends on the world of bacteria. If you ever get food poisoning, that is a bad thing, and you should try to be careful, but worry not - there are bacteria in our intestines that would help you battle the condition. We are lucky that we have plenty of good bacteria inside our bodies that often help us battle hostile intruders (other bacteria and viruses) that try to compromise our immune system in any manner. 

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