I, just like many other enthusiasts, loathe the fact that anytime you pop over to the shops during the warm months, you’re bound to kill several generations of insects while on the way and back. Hence, that’s why Dutch biologist Arnold van Vilet has decided to find how many insects are killed by cars—can’t imagine having an exciting dinner conversation.
Anyway, over the course of six weeks, Mr. van Vilet gatherd about 250 drivers to count the number of insect corpses he can find smeared on their front license plates, according to how many miles driven. I’m sure Adderall and coffee were his best friend.
After the six weeks and 19,184 miles he has tallied up from his participants, a grand total of 17,836 insects were found on the license plates alone. Doing some basic math, and it works out to about two insects for every 6.2 miles traveled. Apply these numbers to the population and you’re looking at an insect massacre.
In his conclusion, he wrote:
“In 2007, over 7 million cars [in the Netherlands] traveled about 200 billion kilometers. If we assume for simplicity that every month the average is the same for all cars, then 16.7 billion kilometers are traveled a month. In just the licence plates, 3.3 billion bugs are killed per month. The front of the car is at least forty times as large as the surface of the plate. This means that cars hit around 133 billion insects every month. In half a year, that is 800 billion insects. This is significantly more than we had estimated six weeks ago.”
Translating that to the US of A, around 200 million cars exist in this country and are driven on average, 12,500 miles per year. That comes out to a total of 2.5 million annual miles and a…wait for it…grand total of 32.5 trillion insects. Take that buggers, it’s whatchya get for ruining my paint! And cool it GreenPeace, insects are the most abundant species on the planet, they’re doing fine.
– By: Chris Chin