The total amount of coronavirus infecting people around the world would fit into a single teaspoon, it was claimed.
TV mathematician Matt Parker says Covid-19’s microscopic size means its total volume is a tiny 8ml, or 0.2 fluid ounces.
One teaspoon contains 6ml of liquid, which means the killer virus would fit just over one.
Mr. Parker said he made several assumptions to get the figure, but even at the higher end of his estimates, the planet’s entire Covid-19 virus would fit in a shot.
To date, there have been more than 54 million coronavirus cases worldwide with 1.3 million deaths.
Mr. Parker revealed his calculation on his A Problem Squared podcast.
He said, “All the chaos in the world … is due to a teaspoon of trouble.
“A viral particle is very small, it’s just the code to destroy other cells.”
Mr. Parker, a contributor to Radio 4’s Infinite Monkey Cage science program, said the virus is a million times smaller than a human cell.
He estimated the number of cells in each virus patient based on the viral load measured by swabs and research published in the medical journal The Lancet.
He then used a figure of 300,000 new cases per day worldwide and assumed that each had been infected for 14 days before calculating the number of people currently carrying the virus.
Using the figure of 300,000 new cases per day worldwide and assuming everyone was infected for 14 days, he calculated the number of people currently carrying the virus.
Multiplying that, Mr. Parker estimates there are 3.3 trillion Covid-19 cells in the human population.
Therefore, given their size, comparable to the wavelength of light, collectively they take up very little space.