Every Picture Tells a Story: The Earth’s Biomass

By Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA — Dec 21, 2021
'Tis the season. As we turn to the holidays, their spiritual meanings, and the liminal moment as we end another extraordinary pandemic year, we should take stock of our position. We should consider that a bit of DNA, far smaller than we can see, that we could not imagine until 1892 has brought the world to its collective knees. Where exactly do we stand in the grand scheme of life?
Image courtesy of geralt on Pixabay



The infographic is taken from All the Biomass on Earth, an article from the always excellent Nautil.us shows animals, the category we reside in is dwarfed by the world of bacteria, plants, fungi, protists, and archaea. Only viruses take up less. Of course, when we look a bit closer, our relationship to all of the other wondrous animals and life itself shifts again.

There is more livestock meant to feed us than humans. But there are more of us than, say, wild birds and mammals and nematodes. Our opposable thumbs and cognitive abilities have made us “masters of the universe,” but we would be wise to recognize how fragile that title rests upon our collective heads. 

COVID-19 should have stripped us of our naivety for not only what we know of our world, but what we can actually control. As the world marks the transition to the new year, we might just take a moment to be humble in the presence of life and our position and role on our home, Earth. Perhaps we can begin to act as better stewards of our only home and all the multitudes of life expressions it contains. May the Force be with You.


Source:  Nautil.us  All the Biomass on Earth


Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA

Director of Medicine

Dr. Charles Dinerstein, M.D., MBA, FACS is Director of Medicine at the American Council on Science and Health. He has over 25 years of experience as a vascular surgeon.

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