Thought about the abundance
lately? Try these on for size:
In your body alone, there are over ten trillion cells, more than the number of the equivalent of U.S. Dollars in all the monetary systems of all the nations on the entire planet.
In every cubic centimeter of air within ten miles of the surface of the earth, there exist normally several dozen invisible particles of dust, each one of which probably bears multiple forms of microscopic life. In smoggier cities, the density may go up to a million particles per cubic centimeter.
The air around you swims with barely visible and microscopic life that ride free on the currents, such as spores of algae, fungi, bacteria, plants, grains of pollen, and even actual seeds and fragments of lichen.
Clouds are particularly fertile, full of living creatures, mites and bacteria ("animalcules," as they were once called), that live out entire life spans and generations high in the sky. Many fall to the earth in drops of rain.
The ocean teems with life, large and small, from the microscopic to the macroscopic. In a cubic foot of seawater, you can find about 100 plankton, but they’re busy feeding on the approximately 10,000 crystalline plants and the 100 million bacteria that accompany them, which is quite a large number of living things when you consider that this bucketful of ocean represents the 147 billion that are available to us to sample in each one of the 340 million cubic miles of water!
And as for land, in a cubic foot of top earth, sampled from just about anywhere on the planet, you can expect to find about 40,000 visible living animals (ranging from about 25,000 mites and 10,000 springtails to the 5,000 remaining insects and arachnids). This figure does NOT include bacteria, of which an ounce of fertile dirt will normally contain 20 times as many as the entire human population on the planet, and we’ve not counted the nematodes (threadworms), of which in fertile soil surrounding grass roots, you can expect to find 10,000 per cubic inch.
And we’ve still yet to touch on the hundreds of thousands of species that are identified or presumed to exist, both plant and animal (all the way up to the largest known, the blue whale), all of whom, on countless numbers, share this planet with us. With every breath you take and every bite you eat, you draw life into you. With everything you leave behind, you leave life behind you. You live in a literal ocean of life that surrounds you every moment of your entire lifetime. You walk through it, play in it, sleep in it, and depend on it for your very existence.
It is, in short, part of you, and you are part of it.