In today’s world, the internet is in virtually every sphere you can think of: communication, education, medicine, governance, security, business, entertainment, and many other niches. It is what has connected the world and made it a small village where people from different parts of the world can link with each other. While using the internet, many people don’t understand how much of a technological marvel it is, and how it came to be.

To share a bit of some facts, here are 10 things you should know about the internet.

1. Sputnik influenced launch of the internet

In 1957, Sputnik was founded by the Soviet Union. This was a satellite that was first man-made object to orbit Earth. It came as a surprise to the U.S. and they feared they were not doing enough in terms of technology compared to their enemy in the cold war. To respond to this, Dwight D. Eisenhower directed that the Department of Defense had to create an Advanced Research Objects Agency in 1958 and one of its programs was to create a computer network that would later become the internet.

2. The internet is huge

It’s not common to think about the number of pages available on the internet, but Google estimated that there are about one trillion web pages. Many of these web pages are hosted on servers reviewed on MangoMatter, so thinking about the internet, you will discover that it is a huge web of resources that is supplemented every second with new content.

3. It weighs only 50 grams

Despite having trillions of pages, the internet is only about 50 grams in weight. All of these pages combined will only weigh as much as an egg. The electrons collectively are about 50 grams, which is not more than the average egg would weigh.

4. It’s not used by humans only

You might be surprised to discover that humans account for only 50% of the traffic the internet receives. No, it’s not aliens or zombies using the other half, but robots that you should look out for especially when you launch a site. This is the reason you are required to prove you are human by passing a captcha when you sign up on many sites.

5. Over 100 billion emails are sent every day

Gone are the days when you would expect letters from friends and family. Almost all communication is now wireless. Every day, more than 100 billion emails are sent, which include newsletters, business emails, communication with customers, and even that email you occasionally receive from your family or friends.

6. Packet switching: how the internet works

The way information is shared over the internet is simple. Data is shared through a dedicated circuit that ensures all data is transmitted along the same path. This method is what is referred to as packet switching. The switch will not close until the whole data packet is delivered. The advantage with this over sending small packets that would be reassembled is that data is not distorted along the way.

7. Gary Thuerk made the first spam email

Spamming has been around longer than you think. This is an old marketing technique and the first spam email was by the marketing manager of Digital Equipment Corporation, Gary Thuerk, in 1978 sent to 393 people using ARPANET. His email was advertising new DEC computers.

8. Greenland has the most connected population

You may not find this sensible, but many people still don’t have access to the internet at their homes. Many European and North America countries have a connection rate of between 70% and 80%. However, Greenland enjoys a whole 92% connection rate for its population.

9. Printing the web would decimate forests

If it were to be printed, Wikipedia alone would require 71 million A4 pages. And to print the web collectively, about 137 billion A4 pages would be required. That would be more than 62 million trees that would be cut.

10. The International Space Station (ISS) is connected to the internet

In order to communicate with ground staff and their families, astronauts in the ISS have access to high speed internet. They can access internet the same way you do, and they sometimes update the official website from the same location.

Besides enabling communication and connecting people, the internet has come as a big opportunity. It carries a lot of mysteries that are little known. Although it appears seamless and simple, it is one complex that you might be surprised to learn about its history.

It carries millions of websites and thousands are added every day.

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