Bacteria Outweigh Animals By HOW MUCH?! Measuring Earth’s Biomass


Greetings home planet and all hail our supreme
Zorgdorg. Mission update: I have completed my biological analysis of
this planet’s life forms. There’s a lot of something called “cows”. As well as “ants”. Glad our home planet doesn’t have those. WOW! So many. I have concluded this planet is actually run
by small birds called “chickens”. They outnumber the humans 2 to 1. HAHAHAHAHA and these humans think they are
in charge HAHAHA actually the humans do kill a lot of
stuff. Wish me luck. More research to come. [Open] What would it look like if we, or aliens posing
as YouTubers, took a census of all Earth’s life, put it on a scale… to see what dominates,
and if we’re changing it? There are a lot of humans on Earth — about
7.6 billion, in fact. But there are actually way more chickens,
19 billion! And way way more fish – those estimates
are in the trillions. We humans actually only make up one one-hundredth
of one percent of all life on Earth, by mass. That hasn’t stopped us from having a big-time
impact though. Sure, we’ve altered the landscape which
is actually visible from space, and we’ve literally moved mountains, but there’s also
an impact that’s a bit harder to see: all the death. Since our species spread across the globe,
we’ve trampled out 84% of animals and over half of all plant life. Sheesh, so what’s left? Counting individual animals is hard and boring
and would take a really long time, so instead scientists often measure something called
biomass, basically how much living mass there is in some group of species. We measure biomass in gigatons of carbon. This is helpful when you want to compare species
of different sizes. For example, 3,100 mice have the same biomass
as one human. Or 15,312 Humpback whales have the same biomass
as your mom.REAL MATURE GUYS Scientists recently found our planet hosts
a total of 550 gigatons of living carbon. So how does it stack up? Let’s start with animals. Of all animals, mammals and birds only make
up 8.5%. And among that, 60% is livestock, mostly cattle
and pigs. Humans? We’re more than a third (36%) of all birds
and mammals, but we’re only 3% of the animal tally. Arthropods — the insects, spiders, crustaceans
and other things with exoskeletons — far outweigh any other animal group, making up
60% of the animal kingdom. I mean, the termites alone nearly outweigh
all 7.6 billion of us humans! But altogether, animals are a tiny 0.3% of
Earth’s living mass. Mushrooms and other fungi are six times more
massive than all the animals. There’s actually a colony of mycelium — an
underground fungus… fungi… fungusi — in Oregon that stretches 1,665 football fields
in area. It’s considered the largest organism on
Earth. However, even fungi and fun-gals are just
a tiny fraction of biomass compared to another group, one that’s absolutely massive despite
being mini. A typical bacterial cell is a tenth the size
of your typical animal cell. Yet together, bacteria are a whopping 35 times
more massive than all animals put together. Bacteria make up most of the small world,
but the other groups of microscopic critters each individually outweigh birds and mammals
(0.3% of total B) on the biomass scale (archaea (1.3%), protists (0.7%), and viruses (0.04%)). But bacteria aren’t the biomass-masters. The true rulers of Earth’s biosphere? Plants. Our green friends make up a whopping ~83%
of all biomass. This result surprised scientists, because
we tend to think of bacteria playing the biggest role in Earth’s biosphere. But when you think about how heavy a tree
is, and the fact that there’s 3 trillion trees on Earth, their top spot makes sense. But then you think about the fact that they
did all that by eating air and… Although most of the Earth’s surface is
covered by ocean, turns out most of life, 86%, lives on land. It might be a blue planet, but it’s a green
biosphere. And even more surprising, there’s almost
12 times more life deep below ground, mostly microbes, than there is in the ocean. So that’s how life on Earth measures up. Thing is, that tally used to look pretty different. Humans and our close relatives have only been
around about 6 million years, but in that short time we’ve managed to decimate life
on this planet. From 50,000 to 3,000 years ago, half of Earth’s
large mammal species died out, due in part to human activity. Whaling alone decreased marine animal biomass
fivefold since the 1700s. Things like deforestation, hunting, and destroying
habitats have knocked down terrestrial animals by a factor of six since we showed up. And don’t even get me started on climate
change. Actually, DO get me started… and go check
out our new climate and environment channel called Hot Mess 🙂 Link in the description. Where were we? Humans have also added new life to the mix
– the planet now hosts more livestock than wild animals. To feed ourselves and our animals, we’ve
permanently cultivated nearly 600,000 square miles. If you add in pastures and stuff, about 18.9
million square miles has been turned over to agriculture — and our livestock are hogging
68% of that. Human population growth is slowing, but it’s
still going up. By 2050 we’ll have something like 9.7 billion
people aboard spaceship Earth, and who knows what that additional human biomass will do
to the planet. If we keep adding more cows and chickens and
people, lions and tigers and bears might only exist in storybooks! Plants, bacteria, and chickens, though, will
probably still be here. Stay curious.

100 thoughts on “Bacteria Outweigh Animals By HOW MUCH?! Measuring Earth’s Biomass

  1. This video is full of MASS-ively interesting biology facts.

    Leave a comment and let me know what you thought of this video, or what questions you've got! I hope we've earned your subscription, and please consider hitting the bell icon to get notified about our next video. It helps us a lot! ?

  2. They're pulling all of these numbers out of their ass. There's no real definitive way to accurately measure the biomass of insects, fungi and fish let alone one specific insect like termites. So sick of elitist hack scientist and their sheep followers. Might as well call it the new era religion…

  3. When will you 'muricans learn that "football field" is not a way to provide length of any kind. It is not measurement tool of any kind.
    P.S
    Humans are garbage and we just consume and destroy everything in our path, that will be our end one day.

  4. rrrrright…. wooly mammoths would be all over the place today if it wasn’t for all those dang cave men and spears…?? When is comes to science, there’s no need to stretch the facts. Facts themselves are interesting. Woolly mammoths(and 99% of all species to have ever lived) died out because of the earth’s natural cycle of climate change. The ending of the last ice age had a heck of a lot more to do with animals going extinct than the rise of the human race. And no, the cave men didn’t cause the end of the ice age with their SUV’s either. 99% of all species to have ever lived on this planet, are extinct. Extinction is a natural part of the earths ecosystem. Earths climate is forever changing and evolution will always adjust to fill niche’s with the most efficient life form it can. That is an irrefutable fact of life. Humanity’s existence barely even registers on the geologic time scale. In a couple hundred million years our impact will hardly even be noticeable.

  5. There is something very calming about your voice where I continue listening to you even after the video is done. With other YouTubers, I normally close the video immediately as it ends.

  6. These estimates are based on a LOT of guesswork. While there are many good practical reasons for this – the accuracy can not be even remotely guaranteed for current species, and far less so for previous periods in history.

  7. Things that impressed me most:

    2) Plants, not bacteria, are the dominant life form – by far

    1) There's more life beneath our feet than in all the oceans together.

    Think it's time to vacuum my carpet 😀

  8. oh oh, before i see the video i have a prediction. water-world. its like 70- percent water coverage and oceans are 3d, with depth rather than just a surface to live on. so i'm guessing some kind of marine life, and if not my backup guess is fungus, because they live for centuries and can cover miles with a single organism and one fungus can choke-out the vegetation over a whole forested zone. humans are specks, basically planet-cancer. lets see how i did. fingers crossed.

  9. Humans are the most dominant species due to the fact we can easily end all life on earth if we wanted to… We have lots of nuclear weapons

  10. I endure the dad jokes for the info, but woe is anyone who has to hear "fungai OR FUN GALS". I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy

  11. Co2 and annual tempatures rising and plants make up 25% of the biomass on the planet and you still think climate change is man made. Nah the trees are alive and there trying to kill us they speed up the process by interfering with the 2016 electon and blameing it on Russia

  12. The ice age killed the wooly mammoths not humans I don’t think most of their points in the second half of the video are correct

  13. which life form really dominates earth? it's not human or any other animals….it's the americans….they already claim everything as their property…they claim space and mars and everything else….the next thing they will be claiming would be breathable air and we will need their permission to breath it….

  14. So unnatural for there to be that many humans. No other large mammals come remotely close in population. Should have never gotten to this insane point. We’re looking at animals a fraction of the size to even find similar numbers. Crazy.

  15. Bjjhghoijhh was the night that it wasn’t a noob at it but hey oilers fans and it is cool ? our season was over right so yeah I ugyuyhuiyyrer

  16. My guesses are correct for the top 3, but wrong order. I guessed bacteria, fungi, plants… basically reverse order lol.

  17. It's okay to be smart, one word replaced from 'it's okay to be white'. I'm sure smart people are already secure in their position as smarties. In fact, I know they are. There is a correlation between intelligence and how secure you are. In lab experiments, as mice gained more intelligence, they lowered in rates of anxiety and avoidance of situations. They were more 'cool' about things and didn't have worries about things like less smart mice did.

    They wouldn't have needed the reassurance that it was okay to be smart. They would have known it was. Because they know a lot of things.

  18. "There are way more chickens and way way more fish." Since when is "fish" a species? There are also more mammals than humans if you want to put it that way…

  19. Too much plant life. It’s not right. The easiest way to level the life balance is by taking most CO2 out of the Air. If we can cut the CO2 by 50%, we can kill all plant life on earth. Buy a Tesla. Demand your politicians force Sequester of all sources of CO2 where plants can’t ever breathe it. Chop chop smart people.

  20. You need to change that graphic. Humans did NOT cause Woolly Mammoths to go extinct (or any of the prehistoric mammals). Learn about the Hiawatha Crater in Greenland.

  21. What a brilliant episode! For a few seconds, you took me to different world. I see the world a little differently now.

  22. The way you talked about Human population sounded negative. Can you be clear on this issue. Should having children be regulated by our government?

  23. Bacteria were here for 3 billion years before we arrived. We are all walking Petri dishes and in the end we will feed them even after we die.

  24. Eating air??????? And you talk about begin smarter everyday??? Maybe your the dumbest ashole I have ever seen in YouTube

  25. Uhm… sorry to break this to you but, ahh… “fish” isn’t a species….
    Human
    Chicken.
    FISH.
    One of these things are not like the others, one of these things, doesn’t belong.

  26. This title is stupid. How many mass, or how many animals are, does not means dominance…. Humans are the only animal in this planet that can do almost whatever we want with the animals or plants here, therefore, we dominate.

  27. "Fun-guys" and "Fun-gals" along with the weight of my "Mother" brought ear to ear grin in the middle of understanding mind boggling weight of (Biomass) World ?

  28. How Long Have Humans Been On Earth? – Universe Today
    https://www.universetoday.com › how-long-have-humans-been-on-earth

    While our ancestors have been around for about six million years, the modern form of humans only evolved about 200,000 years ago. Civilization as we know it is only about 6,000 years old, and industrialization started in the earnest only in the 1800s.

    So why telling people that people have been here for 6 million years?

  29. I thought smart people realize that humans aren’t designed to eat meat and it takes less energy to digest plants and the Earth can’t sustain a meat heavy deit by all humans

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