1. The Internet Weighs Just a Little More Than a Strawberry
Although it’s impossible to access the ever-growing mass of all the data circulating through the Internet precisely, a rough mathematical estimation conducted by physicist Russel Seitz concluded that it all sums up to about 50 grams. This is about 2 ounces, or the weight of a large strawberry.
Of course, this calculation takes into account only the billions of billions of electrons moving through the wiring, servers, devices and other conduits that enable the use of the Internet and not these conduits themselves.
2. The Internet Is Less Wireless Than You Think
Because we’re so used to connecting our devices to the Internet wirelessly, we can make the mistake of thinking about it as bits of data floating in space. In reality, however, Internet providers have had to lay millions of miles of cables across continents and oceans first to enable the Internet connection we have today, which took decades. Without these cables, the Internet cannot exist globally.
3. An Average Email Uses around 12 Billion Electrons
An average 75-kilobyte email you routinely send to your friends, family, and colleagues requires around 12 billion electrons. In-text, this is around 37.5 pages of typewriting. Surely, this enormous quantity is very difficult to grasp, but our devices process way more information on a daily basis.
4. Of the 7.6 Billion People on Our Planet, More Than 4.4 Billion Use the Internet
As of 2019, Internet statistics report that more than half of the entire population of the world uses the Internet, and this number has grown by almost 9% in the past year only. Over half of these new users are from Asia and Pacific Countries, such as India, China, and Indonesia.
5. Every Minute, 300 Hours Worth of New YouTube Videos Are Uploaded
YouTube is by far the most popular video-sharing platform online, and it's the second most popular search engine after Google. Interestingly, the most popular kinds of videos on this platform continue being music videos, as well as videos of cute animals and cartoons. The average YouTube user watches around 40 minutes' worth of video every day.
6. Google’s First Name Was “Backrub”
No, we're not joking, here's the story. In August 1996, co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin released the first version of the Google search engine on the Stanford University website. What most people don’t know is that, at first, the now overwhelmingly-popular Google was called “Backrub”.
Understandably, the name was changed just a year later in 1997 to the familiar “Google”, which is a play on the mathematical term “googol” meaning the number 1 followed by 100 zeros.
7. The Concept of the Internet Was Conceived Over a Century Ago
Like it is the case with most inventions, the Internet is the result of centuries worth of scientific thought and achievement. The idea of the Internet was first conceived right after the discovery of electricity more than a century ago.
Great scientists across the world, such as Nikola Tesla, Vannevar Bush, and Paul Otlet all predicted we will eventually be able to harness the power of electrons for wireless communication.
8. The Internet is the Fastest in East Asia and Nordic Countries
While high-speed Internet is widely available in many countries, the actual speeds differ from country to country. According to the latest estimations, South Korea, Sweden, Norway, and Japan boast of having the fastest Internet connections in the world.
The average speed in South Korea, the leader of the list, is 26.7 megabits per second (Mbps), which is much faster than the 18.7 Mbps common in the United States.
9. All the Data Files on the Internet Weighs Less Than a Grain of Sand
In 2011, Google estimated that we have approximately 5 million terabytes of static data stored permanently on the Internet. This includes all the information on all websites, emails, etc. In the same year, mathematicians calculated that all this abundance of information weighs less than a minuscule amount of the tiniest imaginable grain of sand.
Even if we take into account that in the past few years a lot of Internet growth has occurred, we still end up with just a grain of sand worth of weight.
10. Over 50 Million Horsepower in Electricity is Necessary to Fuel the Internet
With the multitude of servers, devices and conductors that are connected to the Internet, it has been estimated in 2011 that at running the Internet required 50 million horsepower worth of electricity.
An alternative calculation also estimated that the amount of electricity required to fuel the Internet for a year equals the output of 8 big nuclear reactors or 1.8% of the yearly American electricity consumption. Both estimates are certainly mind-boggling.