There are 10 million viruses in one drop of sea water

There are 10 million viruses in one drop of sea water

The average count of viruses in 1ml of surface layer water is about 10,000,000.

The world’s oceans are teaming with viruses. A litre of seawater typically contains billions of viruses – the vast majority of which remain unidentified.

Viruses: Essential to human existence

Viruses play an essential role in the life of microorganisms like plankton. Plankton produces more than half of the oxygen we breathe. It also absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping prevent man made climate change.

Without microbes, the Earth, its oceans, and even our human bodies come to a halt

Matthew Sullivan of Ohio State University

Viruses may be the most abundant organisms  in natural waters. There are an estimated quintillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) virioplankton in the sea.

Marine microbes are the dominant life forms in our oceans. They comprise 95 percent of the living biomass in the oceans—more than all the krill, fish, and whales put together.

They grow at rates many times faster than larger animals. As a result of their sheer numbers, and the rates at which they grow, they are responsible for transforming and shaping the distribution of life’s essential elements—and they help control climate on our planet. Without marine microbes, life as we know it could not persist.

Rachel J. Parsons, microbial oceanographer with the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science

Don’t worry though, the viruses only infect bacteria, not animals or people. They are called bacteriophages and rely on marine bacteria to replicate.

200,000 – There are about 200,000 different viral populations in the world’s oceans

4,000m – Viruses were found as deep as 4,000 metres

North and South Poles – Viruses were found in extreme temperatures in the Arctic and Antarctic


Leave a Reply