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18 weird but interesting facts about the internet

29th July 2015 by Showtime Photo Booth

Since you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume you’re familiar with the internet. And like us, you probably use it every day for work and leisure without giving it a second thought. Yet for such a new technology, it’s amazing how much it effects our day-to-day lives. So if you’re even a little bit curious about what goes on behind the scenes – or behind the screens if you will – this list of weird internet facts is just for you.

1. British inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee created the simple-but-brilliant hypertext technology way back in November 1989, giving birth to the humble internet. Which means it’s already a quarter of a century old.

2. It being such a remarkable creation, Tim Berners-Lee was listed as one of the 100 most important people of the twentieth century by Time Magazine, and knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2004.

3. Not content with merely inventing the internet, Berners-Lee also invented and built the first web browser and the first web editor. He also made the first ever website – which is still online to this day:

4. Instead of patenting his system and pocketing enough cash to buy a small country, Berners-Lee decided to let anyone use his invention free of charge, creating the foundations for the democratic, user-generated World Wide Web we all use today.

5. But you may not know that email is even older than the internet. Although most of us don’t appreciate the difference between email and the net, email has actually been around since 1971.

6. In fact, the first ever spam email also pre-dates the internet. A computer salesman became the world’s first spammer back in 1978 when he sent an email advertising his computers to 600 somewhat-miffed recipients.

7. We now send around 250 billion emails per day. More than 80% of which are said to be spam. Pro tip: DON’T SPAM!

8. It’s hard to remember that a decade ago, the net looked very different, with the big players being AOL, Myspace and GeoCities. Facebook had only just been invented, and wasn’t yet publicly available.

9. Google has since become synonymous with the internet, providing users with access to its index of over 30 trillion web pages.

10. And if you think that’s big, there’s a whole other world of web pages called the ‘dark web’ that’s not indexed by search engines. And it’s 500 times bigger. I’m going to give you a moment to digest that…

11. Processing a single Google search requires 1,000 computers, and takes a mere 0.2 seconds. You’ve got to admit, that’s pretty fast.

12. But all that activity requires electricity – enough to power a 60W light bulb for 17 seconds, per search. That’s 0.2g of Carbon Dioxide released into the atmosphere every time you look something up online…

13. Google is so large, and runs so much computer equipment that it’s energy usage is equivalent to that of 200,000 homes.

14. The tech giant also accounts for 1% of all the world’s data centres, which in turn account for 1% of global energy use. That’s 0.01% of all global energy consumed by just one company. And that’s after taking into account that their data centres are twice as efficient as the average.

15. Taken as a whole, the internet’s electricity requirement is equal to around 50 million horse power, and is growing all the time.

16. Nearly one third of the human race is now online on a weekly basis or more. That’s 2.4 billion users, and around 8.7 billion devices from computers to phones to satnavs to fridges. That’s more than one device for every person on the planet.

17. Of these 2.4 billion users, two thirds are Asian, yet the predominant language online is still English.

18. According to Google, if you downloaded all the information on the internet, it would fill 200 million Blu-Ray disks. And by the time you’d finished, you’d probably need 200 million more…

And there you have it; the wonderful world of the internet in 18 weird-but-interesting facts. Makes you wonder what’s going to happen in the next 25 years, doesn’t it?

18 weird but interesting facts about the internet