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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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