In the 11 years since Shutterstock was founded, our 70,000 contributors have uploaded more than 48 million images, video clips, and music tracks to our library. And we’ve now seen those combined creations downloaded more than 500 million times.

As we reflect on that staggering figure and all the incredible people who made it possible, we started to think: What does 500 million really look like? Scroll on to explore mass quantities from throughout our collection, as we attempt to visualize the often unfathomable number that is 500 million.

Red Blood Cells by Sashkin

There are 724 trillion red blood cells in the human body. So it’s not more than that. But it is greater than the number of red blood cells in this image.
Love Locks at Archeveche Bridge in Paris by Andersphoto

A lock weighs roughly 8 oz. So if there were 1 billion locks in this photo, they would weigh 500 million pounds. But there aren’t. Because that’s insane.
Cityscape in Hong Kong by Leungchopan

500 million is more than the population of the United States (320 million), but it’s not more than the population of China (1.37 billion) or India (1.27 billion).
Fresh Cowberry by Dmitry Melnikov

Have you ever entered a contest where you try to guess how many jellybeans are in a jar? Well if you count how many top to bottom, and how many across, then multiply, you can sort of guess the number. That’s what we did here. And we got 300. Which is nowhere near 500 million.
Aerial View of Stacked Cargo Containers by Oliver Hoffmann

A bunch of shipping containers? No way. Next!
Sunrise On The Chesapeake Bay by Yvonne Navalaney

The Chesapeake Bay produces 500 million pounds of seafood a year. So if you look at that water, and picture all the fish, crabs, and lobsters, you can sort of imagine what 500 million looks like. Sort of.
Many Books Are Completely Messed Up On A Pile by Lisa S.

500 million is more than the number of books in this photo. It’s also more than the number of books in the Library of Congress (24 million). It’s also more than the number of books ever written (130 million as of 2010, and there’s no way we’ve written 370 million more in the last five years, so this stat is still relevant).
Pulsing Fish Under The Boat by Kristina Vackova

There are literally trillions of fish in the world, so this one wasn’t even realistic. Moving on.
Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic by Artur Bogacki

1… 2… 3… 4… nope.
Terraced Rice Field in Vietnam by Jimmy Tran

It’s probably more grains of rice than are in this terraced rice field, but we can’t really be sure.
King Penguin Colony by AndreAnita

There are only 3.79 million penguins (give or take a mating season) in the entire world, so 500 million is definitely more than the number of penguins pictured here. Or pictured in our entire collection, for that matter.
Aerial View of Crowded Copacabana Beach by Lazyllama

500 million is more than the number of people visible here. However, it’s not more than the number of grains of sand in this photo. At least, probably not.
Triangulum Galaxy by Mironov

There are 40 billion stars in the Triangulum galaxy. That’s way more than 500 million. In fact, 500 million is 1.25% of 40 billion. So it’s probably 1.25% of this picture.
1.25% of the Triangulum Galaxy by Mironov

Yep. This must be 500 million. Or not. You tell us.
Want to show us what 500 million looks like your way? Get started with our “Not Quite 500 Million” image collection »

Top image: Car against the starry night sky by AlexussK