View Full Version : Now how much does this thing weigh?

11 May 2007, 02:44 PM
Hari Om


Not sure how many on HDF read Discover magazine but found this amusing.

The article was about ' how much does the Internet weigh? '… Not so much all the hardware stuff but all the things that people send, receive, etc.

How would one weigh this? By the weight of the of electron's, in bytes, that a file carry's to & from its destination. Without all the math and logic, the bottom line : it weighs (+/-) 1.3 X 10 to the negative 8th power pounds. That is, = ~ 0.2 millionths of an ounce. What does that look like ? Head out to the beach - find the smallest grain of sand your eyes can see - about .002 inches across it's face - and that is the weight of the internet's traffic in total.

Now, what I find interesting - I thought it would be all email… well email specifically , letters, and memo's as in this body of the text ( like this one I am typing), accounts for ~ 9% of all the traffic on the internet. The big stuff is pictures ,BMP's, jpeg's, TIFF's, + video clips + music files. This stuff makes up 75% of all the files. And its from all walks of society - civilians, military, agencies, Commerce and business, any entity that is on the internet World wide.

So, next time you are on the beach you can pick up a grain of sand and have a esoteric conversation that you are holding the weight of the internet in your hands.