The global population is expected to reach 7 billion Monday — just 12 years after hitting 6 billion — and the milestone has many pondering the complex challenges associated with billions more people on Earth in the coming years.
Some are also pondering something else: Just how big is 7 billion really?
— Seven billion seconds ago, the year was 1789. That was the year George Washington was inaugurated as the first U.S. president and Congress met for the very first time.
— If you took 7 billion steps along the Earth’s equator — at 2 feet per step — you could walk around the world at least 106 times.
— Suppose an average thimble holds 2 milliliters of water. Seven billion of those thimbles would fill at least five Olympic-sized swimming pools.
— Let’s say the average human is about 5 feet tall, accounting for children. If you stack those 7 billion people end to end, they would reach about 1/14th of the way to the sun — or 27 times the distance to the moon, Volpert said.
— Seven billion ants, at an average size of 3 milligrams each, would weigh at least 23 tons (46,297 pounds).