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10 Astonishing Facts About the Internet


in the 1960s, the internet has grown from a secret military experiment into a gigantic living organism filled with suprises and subcultures. Since the World Wide Web launched, the world has seen truly explosive growth in tech, business, and culture. In just a few short years, the internet has come a long way. Need convincing? Here goes

01. The Internet Requires Approximately 50 Million Horsepower in Electricity

With an estimated 8.7 billion electronic devices connected to the internet, the electricity required to run the system for even one day is substantial. According to Russell Seitz and the calculation of Michael Stevens, 50 million brake horsepower worth of electrical power is required to keep the internet running in its current state.

02. It Takes 2 Billion Electrons to Produce a Single Email Message

According to Michael Stevens and Vsauce calculations, a 50-kilobyte email message uses the footprint of 8 billion electrons. The number sounds ginormous but with electrons weighing next to nothing, 8 billion of them weigh less than a quadrillionth of an ounce.

03. Of the 7 Billion People on Planet Earth, More Than 2.4 Billion Use the Internet

While most of these calculations cannot be precisely confirmed, there is high confidence among most internet statistics that more than 2 billion people use the internet and the web as a matter of weekly habit.

04. The Internet Weighs as Much as One Strawberry

Russel Seitz, a physicist, has crunched some precise numbers. With some atomic physics assumptions, the billions upon billions of 'data-in-motion' moving electrons on the internet add up to approximately 50 grams. That is 2 ounces, the weight of one strawberry.

05. More Than 8.7 Billion Machines Are Currently Connected to the Internet

Smartphones, tablets, desktops, servers, wireless routers and hotspots, car GPS units, wristwatches, and even smart TVs—the internet is comprised of billions of gadgets. Expect this to grow to 40 billion gadgets by 2020.

06. Every 60 Seconds, 72 Hours of YouTube Video Is Uploaded

...and of those 72 hours, most of the videos are about cats, Harlem Shake dance moves, and inane things that no one is interested in. Like it or not, people love to share their amateur videos in the hopes that it will go viral and achieve a small bit of celebrity-dom.

07. Electrons Only Move a Few Dozen Meters Before Stopping on the Net.

An electron doesn't travel very far through the wires and transistors of our computers; they move perhaps a dozen meters or so between machines, and then their energy and signal are consumed by the next device on the network. Each device, in turn, transfers the signal to the adjacent set of electrons and the cycle repeats again down the chain. All of this happens within fractions of seconds.

08. The Internet's 5 Million Terabytes Weighs Less Than a Grain of Sand

Weighing even less than all the moving electricity, the weight of the internet's static data storage ('data-at-rest') is freakishly small. Once you take away the mass of the hard drives and transistors, it boggles the mind that 5 million TB of data comprises less mass than a grain of sand.

09. Over Half of Web Traffic Is Media Streaming and File Sharing

Media and file sharing is the distribution of music, movies, software, books, photos, and other consumable content to users. Streaming YouTube videos are one flavor of file sharing. Torrent P2P is another very popular form of file sharing. There is online radio, which streams temporary copies of music to your device, along with Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify. Make no mistake: people want their media, and they want it so much that half of the World Wide Web's traffic is file sharing!

10. Online Dating Generates More Than $1 Billion Each Year

According to Reuters and PC World, the statistics for online dating in the USA are very high. While this only partially translates to other countries, it is safe to say that people have accepted the value of using the World Wide Web to find love and friendship, even if it means shelling out $30 a month on the credit card.


Are there other interesting facts about the Internet that we left out? Please share in the comment section below.

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