Ah, Number Seven. Its seen as lucky or mystical in some cultures. It crops up all the time. Seven days of the week. Seven Deadly Sins. Seven Dwarves too. Its also the number of TVs Michel Lotito ate in the course of his life (plus 18 bicycles, 15 shopping trolleys and 1 Cessna light aircraft). Its the estimated number of Northern white rhinos there are left in the world. Its the number of teaspoons of botulinum you would need to kill every person on the planet (Botulinum is the worlds deadliest poison. Some people inject a watered-down version of it botox into their foreheads to kill their wrinkles. Dont try this at home).
Human children need around 10 hours of sleep a night (you need two hours if you were a giraffe and twenty-two hours if you were a koala). 10 per cent of the world is left-handed. The worlds largest omelette was 10 metres wide. 10 per cent of people in the world live on islands. The fleas that lived on dinosaurs were 10 times bigger than the fleas you get today (not youpersonally- at least I hope not).
These days, when we have trillions, quadrillions and septillions, a good old-fashioned million can seem a bit puny. But its still a big deal if you like weird facts. For example, a bloodhounds sense of smell is said to be one million times stronger than ours (and given that we can detect one trillion different smells, thats not to be sniffed at). One million years ago, the first human-type creature (or hominid) arrived in the UK according to these footprints on a Norfolk beach. Its the number of queen ants that were found in the largest ever ants nest (the supercolony also had 306 million worker ants and was the size of 650 football pitches).
In the UK, a billion used to be a million million (1,000,000,000,000). But the US decided a billion should be a thousand million (1,000,000,000). And theyre bigger than us, so they won. So a billion. Its the number of people there were in the whole world in the year 1800 (there are seven billion now). Its the number of bacteria cells you find in a single teaspoon of soil (most of them are harmless though). And is $1 billion a lot of money? Not if youre criminal Pablo Escobar. Rats ate $1 billion of his money every year and he didnt even notice.
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