Oliver Morton, an editor at the The Economist was reading one of those environmental articles that calls for everyone eating insects instead of larger animals (which seems to be a genre of environmental writing unto itself) when he came across a cool/weird piece of info:

Lest readers should worry that there were not enough insects to go round, the author wrote reassuringly that there are in fact 40 tonnes of them for every human being on the planet. 

He goes searching to verify the factoid, and mostly finds similar, but more conservative, estimates. The power of calculationer, even if the weght difference isn't quite as big, is undeniable, though.

This is what an editor I used to work with called a nifty—a neat little fact of the sort that might come in handy at, say, a drinks party, but which had a bit more to it than mere neatness. In this case the bit more comes from the way the fact acts as a perspective-shifting micro-homily: hey humankind, you may think you're great, but if the insects got together they could crush you like, well, bugs.

[More Intelligent Life]