Amazing insect statistics

Ok, I just read some mind-blowing insect stats on the Smithsonian website that I had to share somewhere, and this seemed like a place for a receptive audience:

There are an estimated 10 quintillion individual insects in the world. That number looks like this: 10,000,000,000,000,000,000. There are approximately 200 million insects per each person in the world. The world holds 300 pounds of insects for every pound of humans. We have identified about 900 thousand insects, and estimates for the total number of species range from 2 million to 30 million. Insects are estimated to make up 80% of the total number of species.

A South American termite nest was found to have 3 million individuals and locust swarms are said to hold up to one billion individuals. A study of an acre of Pennsylvania found estimated 425 million insects per acre. Imagine what the numbers would be for a tropical rainforest.

I haven’t checked all this math, but I trust the Smithsonian and its sources.


I think my favorite fact here is 200 million insects per person!!!

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For sure – except for a few past experiences when they all seemed to be hanging out with me at once!


Random fun fact: the first person who intimated that there might be more insect species in the world than plants was John Ray at the end of the 17th century. More plant species were believed to exist than insects until well until the 19th century.