Have you ever done something that you thought was unique or unusual and wondered if you were the only person in the world doing it right at that moment? With around 8 billion people in the world, it’s doubtful that we are doing something so unique that no one else is doing it, but of course, there’s no way to know. That said, statistically speaking, it’s surprising to learn what is happening at any given moment in the world.
10. There are 2,000 Thunderstorms Happening Right Now
Fort Myers, Florida, is the thunderstorm capital of the United States. The city has about 89 thunderstorms annually. On the far end of the scale, if you don’t want to see rain ever, you should head to Las Vegas. Of all the major cities in the United States, it gets the least amount of rain, with 0.2 days per year being marred by storms.
We tend to think of weather on scales like this. Annual rainfall, how many storms you have, and how many storms you don’t have. That is why it is surprising to learn that, at any given moment, are 2,000 thunderstorms happening worldwide. Every second of every day, the Earth is struck by lightning 100 times. In the US alone, there are 100,000 thunderstorms every year. The United States only makes up 1.867% of the Earth’s surface. So 2,000 thunderstorms at any given moment seems more reasonable when you expand it to a global scale.
9. One in Fifty U.S. Drivers is Drunk At Any Given Moment
Based on polls, about 63% of American adults drink alcohol sometimes. Worldwide, around 2.3 billion people are considered to be drinkers. Of those, around 107 million are thought to have an alcohol use disorder. It’s safe to say many people are drinking in the world right now. As the old saying goes, it’s five o’clock somewhere.
At any given moment, one in 50 drivers on the road in America is intoxicated. There are 115 million drivers on the road in America every day. That’s 2.3 million people intoxicated people over the course of a day.
A statistic often cited says 0.7% of the world’s population is drunk at any given moment, though the source of this alleged stat is unclear.
8. There Are 25 to 50 Serial Killers at Large in America at Any Given Moment
If you like the idea of feeling safe and secure, you may want to skip this one. At any given moment, the FBI believes that between 25 and 50 serial killers are operating in America. That sounds pretty terrifying, but it’s worth noting that it’s also believed serial killers account for just 1% of all murders in America. That works out to about 150 murders yearly, meaning each serial killer potentially kills three victims per year. Mind you, these are averages, so if one killer takes a year off, another is taking up the slack.
According to statistics, far more serial killers are operating in a given year than you’re likely aware of. The 1980s averaged 102 serial killers per year. Those were just the ones caught, however. In 1987 alone, 128 killers had three or more victims. That number has dropped considerably, but what’s a comfortable number of serial killers that will allow you to rest easy?
7. Just 4,548 Stars are Visible at Any Moment from Earth
You have to start using rough estimates when you get to massive numbers. For instance, we estimate the universe has roughly 200 billion trillion stars. That number is so preposterously big that it might as well be gibberish. In our own little corner of the universe, the Milky Way galaxy, We estimate between 100 and 400 billion stars.
Despite that massive number, you can only see just over 9,000 stars from Earth at any given time. It requires both hemispheres to do that. Otherwise, you can only see 4,548 stars from one hemisphere or the other with the naked eye. If you live in the city’s suburbs, you can thank light pollution for reducing that number to a paltry 446 stars.
6. Only 25 Grams of Astatine Exist On Earth at Any Time
Astatine is the rarest naturally occurring element in the world. It’s a product of the decay of uranium and thorium and is highly unstable. Even its most stable form has a half-life of just over eight hours. As a result, you won’t find much of it lying around all willy-nilly. When it decays, it turns into an isotope of bismuth or polonium.
Everything about this element is pretty hard to believe. No one has ever seen it in its elemental state because it would have already destroyed itself with its own radioactivity by the time you gathered it. When scientists want to study it, they have to make it in a lab, which is no easy task. Only 0.05 micrograms have ever been produced. It’s believed just 25 grams of it exist on Earth at any moment.
5. Only 20,000 T. Rexes Existed at Any One Time
The world’s lion population is estimated to be between 23,000 and 39,000. It may be as low as 20,000, however. The population of African elephants is around 415,000, but perhaps as few as 40,000 Asian elephants remain. Blue whales, the largest creatures to ever live, are thought to exist in numbers as low as 10,000 to 25,000. All of these have seen great decline in the last century. For instance, 100 years ago, there were over five million elephants in Africa.
While it seems like, devoid of human interference, animal populations would be massive, but that’s not always the case. We can look back to a time before humans even existed and see how things were in the age of dinosaurs.
Arguably the most famous dinosaur of all, it’s believed that 2.5 billion Tyrannosaurus Rexes existed during the creature’s two million-year reign. Given their size and range, their population density was minimal. At any given moment in history, only about 20,000 T. Rexes would have been walking the Earth.
4. 80% of An Ant Colony Is Awake and Working at Any Given Time
Ants can be found almost everywhere on Earth. They’re not fans of the cold, so you won’t find them in Antarctica, and they are also not present in Iceland or Greenland. Some isolated islands have not been invaded by ants either. Beyond that, you will find them everywhere else, sometimes in staggering numbers.
If you’ve ever seen footage from a rainforest of leaf-cutter ants, you’ll notice they’re very industrious creatures. Lines of thousands of ants can be seen carrying pieces of green leaves from trees back to their homes. They move like they’re working in a factory, which never seems to end. This begs the question, does it ever end? Do ants ever go to sleep?
We know a lot more about the Sleep habits of vertebrates than we do invertebrates. But we have learned that ants do, in fact, sleep.Because of how an ant colony works, they parse out sleeping like they do other tasks. at any given moment, 80% of an ant colony is awake and working, and the other 20% is sleeping. That means that when some ants need to rest again, other ants will wake up and take over so that there is never a time when all the ants are asleep, or all the ants are working.
3. At Any Given Moment There are 2 Billion Insects on Earth for Every One Human
About 25% of people asked in one survey reported a fear of insects. You can assume that a far greater number of people are simply not fans of bugs. You don’t have to be afraid of a mosquito or a wasp to not want it around you. A decent argument can be made that most people don’t like insects around, to a greater or lesser degree.
Unfortunately, for humans who are not fans of bugs, the numbers are not doing you any favors. At any given moment, there are about two billion insects on Earth for every single human. That’s a staggering number. Total it up, and the estimate for insects roaming the planet is about 10 quintillion. If you wrote that out, it would be a 10 followed by 18 zeroes. That’s an absurd number, so large that it has no longer meaning because it’s impossible to contextualize.
Most scientists agree that most insect species have not even been identified. We know of about 900,000 different kinds. But estimates for actual numbers range from 2 million to as many as 30 million that science has either not discovered or not cataloged in any meaningful way.
These numbers seem hard to reconcile, but don’t forget how small some insects are and where they can hide. Soil samples show that digging five inches deep over an acre of land yields 124 million bugs. Up to 90 million of those are mites that you could easily overlook with the naked eye. A single ant colony in Jamaica was found to have 630,000 members. These things are very good at packing large numbers into unseen spaces.
2. On Any Given Day 13% of America is Eating Pizza
There’s no denying that Americans love pizza. Pizza restaurants made over $46 billion in 2022. Americans spend about $11 billion on delivery. It’s been said Americans eat 100 acres of pizza every day, and 350 slices are sold every second. That’s 30.2 million slices every day.
On any given day, 13% of Americans are eating pizza. That works out to 43.45 million people, which is greater than the population of Canada. That includes 25% of all males ages 6 to 18 who eat pizza on any given day. One in six males is eating it for breakfast.
1. 90,000 People in America are Missing at Any Given Time
There was a famous New York TV broadcast that started in the 1960s in which the viewer was asked, “It’s 10 p.m.; do you know where your children are?” It became the standard opener for the 10 p.m. news through the 1970s and 1980s. More or less, the purpose was to encourage parents to think about where their kids were in a time of youth curfews. For most people, it was just a signal that the nightly news was starting.
The real value of the PSA was never explored much, but it’s definitely worth considering. That’s because, at any given moment, roughly 90,000 people in America are missing. According to the National Missing and Unidentified Person System, that number could be as high as 100,000. Between 2007 and 2020, that worked out to an average of 664,776 missing people per year. Many of them are found, but far from all, and they aren’t always alive when found. There are about 4,400 bodies found every year that can’t be identified.
In 2012, there were 661,000 missing person cases, of which nearly 659,000 were solved. That doesn’t mean they came home safely necessarily, though most did. Some were found deceased and identified. But 2,079 cases remained open at the end of that year. People never found, alive or dead.