World population density mapWIKIMEDIA COMMONS

On October 31(Monday), the Earth’s population officially reached 7 billion, with the UN symbolically naming Danica May Camacho of the Phillipines the milestone baby.

That represents an explosive rate of growth for Homo sapiens. When the species got its start 200,000 years ago, there were just 10,000 of the species on the entire planet, Wired Science reported.  But the vast majority of the population’s growth occurred in the past century. In 1804, the world’s population reached 1 billion, The San Jose Mercury News reported. By 1927, the population had doubled to 2 billion, then skyrocketed to 6 billion by 1999.

Despite the impressive growth of our species, humans represent just a tiny fraction of the Earth’s living population: the world population of ants weighs as much as humans, and the biomass of all bacteria on Earth far exceeds ours.

We do, however,...

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