For years, researchers around the world have been trying to accurately estimate the number of species that make up terrestrial biodiversity. The ranges are quite wide, due to places on Earth that remain difficult to access or unexplored. Every year, researchers identify new animal or plant species. Just what about the number ants ? Insects present almost everywhere on Earth that still fascinate. Researchers have estimated their number, and it’s unimaginable.
a difficult number to imagine
With their tight-knit societies, 30,000 different species, and intriguing colonies, ants are among the most popular insects on the planet. only how many ants is there on earth? With colonies ranging from a few dozen to several million, a presence on six of the seven continents, and an amazing ability to adapt, ants have been proliferating for at least 100 million years. An insect whose biomass is greater than that of Humanity, just that.
But what about the exact number of ants on Earth? A difficult number to calculate, given the animal in question. Nevertheless, researchers from the University of Hong Kong have investigated the question and wanted to provide an answer. Instead of traveling the world to count ants one by one, the scientists turned to existing studies. Thus, analyzing no less than 489 studies, these researchers managed to share their results in a new study published this Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
To get started, the total mass of ants on Earth would be equivalent to 12 megatons of carbon, that’s all. What about the total number of ants? After estimation, It would seem that 20 billion ants roam the Earth today. A number that has some zeros since it can be written like this: 20,000,000,000,000,000.
“it’s unimaginable“says Patrick Schultheiss, one of the lead authors of the study, now a researcher at the University of Würzburg in Germany.”We just can’t imagine 20 quadrillion ants in a single pile, for example. it just doesn’t work“.
An unimaginable number based on data collected by thousands of researchers, who live or have lived in different parts of the world, spread over a century. Remember that this number is an estimate. Researchers cannot accurately count the number of ants present on Earth, especially since the African and Asian regions lack data. Despite everything, these researchers managed to share with us a general idea of the number of ants.