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nematodes - how many

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dubois
451375.  Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:15 am Reply with quote

According to Animal ignorance there are about 40x10^54 nematodes in the world.

That number is embarrassingly high. If the world were solid nematodes all the way to the center and if there were one million nematodes per cubic inch there could be only about 5 x10^31 of them.

 
Moosh
451401.  Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:51 am Reply with quote

After a few calculations, I'd have to agree with you.

To get 40x10^54 worms in a space the size of the Earth, you'd need 6x10^29 nematodes per cubic inch, which is absurd when the smallest are about a hundredth of an inch long.

If you wanted to put that many nematodes on the surface, moving back to your one million worms per cubic inch, you'd need to cover the whole planet in a blanket of worms about 8x10^26 miles thick. That's 8.6x10^18 times the distance to the sun.

So yes, 40x10^54 does seem a rather ridiculous figure.

 
costean
451514.  Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:03 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
you'd need to cover the whole planet in a blanket of worms about 8x10^26 miles thick.

A touch on the high side, Id say.

Assuming the figures of 40*10^54 nematodes and one million nems/inch^3

Then the volume of a sphere large enough to contain that number of worms would be about 4*10^49 cubic inches

This would imply a radius of around 2*10^16 inches

Or roughly 3*10^11 miles

Still quite a lot and I would uphold the original quibble.

 
Moosh
451518.  Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:11 pm Reply with quote

Hmm.

*recalculates and gets 3.35x10^11 miles*

Fair enough.

 
suze
451561.  Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:25 pm Reply with quote

This issue was raised once before (post 256219), although no one then went to the lengths of calculating what the claimed figure would imply.

I think we should ask for a clarification ...

 
Posital
451565.  Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:37 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
The damage nematodes can cause in humans should not be underestimated, nor should their abundance in the world.


Maybe someone took the latter sentiment to heart - in which case 40x10^541 - just to be on the safe side.

http://www.discoverlife.org/20/q?search=Nematoda

PS: Actually - just thinking about it - why didn't they write 4x10^55?

 
Moosh
451573.  Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:52 pm Reply with quote

Posital wrote:
PS: Actually - just thinking about it - why didn't they write 4x10^55?


In the book they actually wrote 40,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

 
Posital
451579.  Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:59 pm Reply with quote

Oh - scientific notation - as if anyone cares over 10^18

 
Flash
451667.  Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:01 pm Reply with quote

I will draw this thread to the attention of the relevant gnome. Watch the space below this one.

 
Jenny
451724.  Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:12 pm Reply with quote

<watches>

Oh.

 
Davini994
451817.  Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:35 am Reply with quote

Are elves referred to as gnomes when they might be wrong? How wonderful if so!

 
Posital
451960.  Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:15 am Reply with quote

Cripes - one minute there was 40x10^54 - and now I haven't seen one in ages.

Bit like buses I spose.

 
Sadurian Mike
452066.  Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:57 pm Reply with quote

Davini994 wrote:
Are elves referred to as gnomes when they might be wrong? How wonderful if so!

I think gnomes do the actual digging and elves flit around take all the credit and looking fey and attractive.

 
bobwilson
452191.  Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:17 pm Reply with quote

so what do the goblins do?

 
Sadurian Mike
452192.  Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:18 pm Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
so what do the goblins do?

Make the tea of course.

(Yes, there was a ruder answer which I discretely bypassed).

 

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