Amazing Things I Didn't Know (and will forget tomorrow)

I kinda thought we knew a fair amount about the living things on our planet - but it turns out that as many as 97% of the plant and animal species are still undiscovered. That's describing them loosely, since we can't lump them into the two kingdoms ('plant' and 'animal') that we all grew up with, anymore. For example, there are worms and lichens that don't want to happily fit into those groups - but that's another story.

Estimates range at there being anywhere from 1.5 to 1.8 million known species but noone really knows at all. Lots of species are listed more than once and it seems impossible to figure that out, especially for the large groups like the 50,000 molluscs or 400,000 beetles.

I suppose most of the undiscovered creatures are on the smallish side, but I still find it one of the more exciting and encouraging things to think we've only found about 3% of life on Earth.

(thanks once again to Bill Bryson for all the info)



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