5/15/2010

Think small...what's in a nonmillion.


"...What ocean microbes lack in size they make up for in numbers. Marine census researchers calculate there are a "nonillion" of them.

Never heard of nonillion? Well, it's a lot. It's 1,000 times 1 billion, times 1 billion, times 1 billion.

Of course no one can really envision a number like that, so the researchers turned to the popular comparison measure — the African elephant.

A nonillion microbe cells, they say, is about the same weight as 240 billion African elephants — or the equivalent of 35 elephants for every person on Earth.

And that's just the microbes."


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