We've Produced 295 Exabytes Of Data So Far, Enough To Stack CDs Past The Moon


Oh, you didn’t know? Humans truly entered the digital age in 2002. That’s when “worldwide digital storage capacity overtook total analog capacity.” It’s also the year Triple H won the Royal Rumble, but that’s hardly relevant.

That stat comes from a article in the February 10 issue of Science Express. The article, the handiwork of professors from the University of Southern California and the University of Catalonia in Chile, describes how the role of information has changed in society as it’s become digitized.

For example, if you were to burn to CD all of the earth’s information, and there’s 295 exabytes of information out there, that stacks of CDs would reach beyond the moon. (And your next question is likely , “Well who put the moon there?” Calm down, Bill. It’s nap time.) How about this one: if you were to all all of the world’s information, and had each bit represented by a star, then you could say that there’s a galaxy’s worth of information floating around the planet. (Not that all galaxies are created equal with respect to the number of starts they contain, but you get the idea.) But that’s still less information than is stored on a human’s DNA molecule.

People sent 1.9 zettabytes of information over the air in 2007, which would be like each person on the planet reading 174 newspapers every day.

Considering our newspapers are now digital, who know how long this little analogy will be relevant?