How much digital information does the word consume annually?
Researchers estimate that global information consumption exceeds 9,570,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes (or 9.57 zettabytes) per year.
In other words, if this information were a stack of books, it would measure 5.6 billion miles and would stretch from Earth to Neptune 20 times over.
These staggering data were reported by UC San Diego scientists and reflect information processed by the world's 27 million business computer servers.
"Most of this information is incredibly transient: it is created, used, and discarded in a few seconds without ever being seen by a person," one of the researchers said in a statement. "It's the underwater base of the iceberg that runs the world that we see."
The researchers admit that their report may be incomplete because it does not include full estimates from large companies like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and other large companies that build their own in-house servers.
What's even more surprising is that these calculations are based on data from 2008, and researchers said that server loads are doubling nearly every two years. Therefore, an estimate of digital information consumed in 2011 is likely to be far greater than 9.57 zettabytes.