What Is The Earth Worth?

What Is The Earth Worth?


Hey, Vsauce. Michael here. Earth only contains 1066 people. Earth, Texas. The only place on Earth officially named Earth. There are at least two places named
Moon but the Earth only has one astronomical
Moon. Or does it? From September 2006 to June
2007, Earth had an additional Moon named 2006 RH120. It’s a near Earth asteroid that usually orbits around
the Sun but for 13 months it fell into an orbit around our planet
and became another Moon of Earth. We can call it that
because technically a Moon is just a natural satellite. Something in orbit around a planet that humans
didn’t put there. There’s no official minimum size
requirement for Moon status. The Moon, it’s a Moon. Sputnik, space junk, the International
Space Station – not Moons, they are artificial satellites. Astronomers believe that, most of the
time, Earth has additional Moons. These
newcomers don’t always stick around that long and they tend to only be about a meter in diameter, so we don’t always detect them and they could, less sensationally, be called temporary asteroid moons. But, the vagueness of the word Moon means that, yes, technically Earth usually has more than one and Earth is booking it. I mean we’re
moving through space incredibly quickly. A light year is an
almost unfathomable distance to put in the human
terms but our solar system orbits around the
center of the Milky Way at about 782,000 kilometres an hour. Which means, that from the perspective of the center of our galaxy, about every 1300 years Earth travels an entire light year. In other words, the Great Pyramid of Giza, wasn’t just built 4500
years ago, it was also built almost three-and-a-half light years away. Big deal – what’s it all worth? Could we assign a price to the entire
planet? To Earth itself? Well, Greg Loughman, an astrophysicist at
the University of California, Santa Cruz devised a beautiful equation for assessing the value of exoplanets we discover. It considers their habitability, their ease of being studied and, of course, how much money we’ve already spent looking for them. Funny enough, you can solve for Earth and find out that compared to
what we’ve already spent looking for exoplanets – and what we know about them – Earth is worth about five quadrillion dollars. The History Channel famously stuck to
Earth and rang up all of Earth’s resources like
water, lumber and granite using the current market prices they arrived at a total of seven quadrillion dollars. If you
removed and isolated all of the elements your body
contains, and then solved them each at market price, you could fetch about two thousand dollars. Reddit user Shady Potato applied this map to Earth. If we could mine the entire
planet, and separate out all of it’s pure elements, and prices didn’t change
because of that, we could sell it all for 15.8 sextillion dollars. Of course calculations like
these don’t include every single possible thing earth, or any other planet has to offer, and they also don’t consider supply and demand. If someone here on Earth, or some extraterrestrial group of planet shoppers, had quadrillions, sextillions of dollars, or the
equivalent amount of power, well, they would have the option to shop
in a much larger store. For crying out loud, there
are more than 10,000 asteroids right here near Earth. And just one of them – 433 Eros – is estimated to contain a half
quintillion dollars worth of platinum alone, and by weight, even more iron. So to be more realistic, instead of
calculating Earth’s value on Earth, let’s calculate its value on the galactic marketplace, or the universal marketplace. If you, or some
hypothetical group of aliens, shopping for a planet could pick any planet in the entire Milky Way galaxy, what about
Earth would make it worth anything? The Milky Way galaxy is estimated to contain a supply of around 100 to 400 billion planets. As far as Earth analogues go, Kepler space mission
data suggests there were probably 40 billion Earth size planets orbiting
within habitable zones of stars in our galaxy. And within the
observable universe? Quadrillions. So, from a raw materials and habitability
stand point, Earth probably isn’t that rare. But Earth does have some unique selling points. For one, it’s probably the only planet like itself
within at least 12 light years. So its location might be prime real estate for an intergalactic rest stop or imminent domain. And secondly, statistically
speaking, life as we know it might not be unique to Earth, but there probably isn’t life
elsewhere that formed exactly like it did here with jaguars, palm trees and hairless
bipeds who made the same buildings and
jokes and art and music that we have. These might be the truest
unique selling points for Earth. Aliens wouldn’t have to understand, or
appreciate any of it, if it merely amused them it might
be worth purchasing as a sort of museum, or zoo at the least. Of course, interstellar planet shoppers
wouldn’t have Earth currency to buy it with, and space cash isn’t worth anything here. But the technology it would take for them to get to us would likely be at least thousands of
years ahead of what we currently have. So, an equitable trade might be, say, limited use of Earth in exchange for their knowledge. Or full use – or abuse – of Earth in exchange for
their knowledge and fair relocation of all earthlings to some equally habitable exoplanet. Boy, this type of speculation is totally sci-fi. But you know what’s not? The next part of establishing Earth’s value: demand. Despite what Earth has to offer, despite what makes it unique, and despite
National Geographic’s list of ten reasons other life forms might want Earth so far we have received 0 offers. The Fermi Paradox formally phrases this puzzle. With so many
friendly to life as we know it planets out there, many of which have
been around longer than even Earth, why haven’t we been visited by, or heard from, intelligent life yet? Maybe Earth, and its intelligent life, really are rare and special. Or maybe Earth is so typical, so unremarkable, no other
intelligent advanced lifeforms could be bothered to stop by. But this
raises another question. Even if something came by, what makes us
think it would make an offer? Why would it consider our wishes at all? In Star Trek 4, the aliens wanted to
talk to whales and humans were just an awkward third wheel. When Thomas Jefferson made the Louisiana
Purchase, he didn’t ask, say, squirrels in Nebraska for
permission. He just did it. And all those squirrels were
suddenly in America, without knowing it. For all we know, that may have already happened to us. Earth
could be owned by some larger interstellar landlord. Furthermore, this entire question rests on an
even more fundamental assumption, the assumption that other
intelligent life forms share our concept of ownership; and the belief that physical things can
be bought and sold. Amongst earthlings, human bartering is pretty unique. Only we have developed complicated, socially agreed-upon norms,
for the barter of goods, the use of currency for goods, or
the concept that you can own a piece of Earth’s surface. Sure, animals can be territorial, but they
haven’t developed that into a more rigorous expansive sense of fair exchange. And when it comes to an individual owning more
things than they could possibly hold or defend on their own, well, we humans
have systems for that. We can teach some animals to use tokens
as currency to exchange for treats, but left on their own they don’t
incorporate economic ideas into their regular social lives. At the most, we observe animals bartering amongst each other for services – but not goods. Why? Well, they may lack
the cognitive ability required to keep track of long-term transactional histories.
But they also lack two other extremely important things:
communication and enforcement. Services, like grooming, are difficult to steal, so
animals can easily trade them. But without a language to facilitate snitching, non-humans can’t easily report thefts or devise systems for reporting and punishing violations. Animals create some pretty beautiful things. Bowerbird nests, Pufferfish circles, termite mounds, or the dramatic costumes
decorator crabs fashion out of sea floor debris. But ownership, and the right to buy or
sell what you make, is only as useful as the power you have to enforce it. And if you don’t have enough power,
someone or something else will make decisions for you. For instance, we have decided that animals don’t own the selfies they take. Three years ago in Indonesia a monkey stole photojournalist David Slaters’ camera. He later retreived the camera and found that the monkey had snapped these fantastic images. Slater maintained that he should receive
royalties from people who reproduce the images, like Wikimedia, but US federal regulators
recently ruled that since a non-human animal created these photos, they’re officially in the public domain. They
belong to all of us. The same goes for selfies taken by elephants, or lambs, or Asian short-clawed otters, named Musa. And it’s not just selfies at play here,
the same goes for paintings made by chimpanzees or dog artists. So, maybe Earth is worth quadrillions or sextillions of dollars. Maybe it’s worth renting in exchange for technological know-how.
But the mere fact that we can conceive of ourselves selling our own planet is pretty
incredible. I mean, we don’t have a deed to planet
Earth, we really only own it via finders, keepers. But we didn’t stumble upon Earth like a hermit crab in its shell, we really just emerged from it. We didn’t
build Earth, if anything, its selective pressures
built us. Does that mean Earth is sort of like a womb? Does that mean us selling Earth would be
the same as a child selling his or her parents? Well, not really. Because we aren’t here for the purpose of leaving, analogous to being born. Honestly, the most fitting metaphor
might be not that we are Earth’s owners, or
children, or one in the same with it, but rather
that we are Earth’s first willful effluvia. In the context of the human body, effluvia are little emissions of things built-up within. They often make us giggle and can be gross. And isn’t that
what we are? A sometimes messy, stinky presence that
has built up within and will one day inevitably, and
to the extent already have, discharged out into space? I guess what I’m saying is that putting
a price tag on Earth is all speculation. We don’t
know if we will never be Earth’s sales person. But what we do know is that we are Earth’s first fart. And as always, thanks for watching.

100 Replies to “What Is The Earth Worth?

  1. That monkey not only knows what a camera is/what it does, knew to turn the camera around towards him to take selfies, but he knew how to do 3 different poses. Is that not mindblowing to anyone else?

  2. Maybe aliens avoid us. Because we have not evolved out of our self-destructing abilities. We only have been civilized for a few thousand years. A much older civilization, might have learned what happens when you add hundred of thousands of years; and you open the door to another civilization by saying hi, we are here too. And you may take us with you, when and if you self-destruct.

  3. One hundred and twenty five wazillion gajillion trepzillon trillion willion dollars and one cent .
    Plus quatrillion percent tax .

  4. I love how he went from saying that Earth, TX has a population of 1066 people to saying that a Monkey took a couple of selfies in a video titled "What is the Earth worth?"

  5. FBI: What you just did IS A CRIME!
    Vsauce: Or is it?
    FBI: YOU ARE UNDER ARREST!
    Vsauce: Or am I?
    FBI: THAT VIDEO CAUSES PROBLEMS IN OUR PLANET!
    Vsauce: Or does it?
    FBI: YOU ARE FREE.

  6. What if not the Earth is special but the human species and it just so happens that we're the most intelligent life form around

  7. I thought this video was going to be about selling and buying materials from mega corporations who go to the other planets that have recourses that are valuable on earth

  8. Ok so if we sell Earth, who will benefit from it, every individuals will get a part? Countries? Corrupt politicians? And what if we were told that Earth was sold 2 thousands years ago by the Romans or the Mayas and the aliens finally came back with a signed deal contract and start taking things? Will we agree? If we sell the Earth today. will our future generation still agree to the deal?

  9. I felt like i was watching for 2 hours i looked at the time and i was at 2:05 its amazing you can get enthralled so well and feel like time is going so fast

  10. I watch after I smoke weed, I learn because now I focus more. Thanks Michael, I do awesome dance to cool disco outro music. 👍🙆‍♂️

  11. Wait I literally thought it said, "What Is The Earth Worm" so this whole video wasn't making any sense until I re-read the title…

  12. We gonna forget how much human organs go for? That’s on earth imagine how much we gon get in space.

  13. Bold of you to assume the universe is inherently capitalist. Capitalism does more naturally arrive in humans then say socialism or communism. Socialism is a response and adaptation and communism is a rejection. Maybe we would end up as slaves, maybe they view us as barbaric and immoral, maybe they view us as to stupid to reason with, maybe they would make a fair trade, maybe they are just as stupid but stumbled upon technology or stole technology from a supier race. Or most likely no one has discovered us yet or maybe almost all live evolved so differently than plants or animals that it’s inconceivable to humans.

  14. Too bad for those experiments that prove that the Earth doesn't move at all huh? Whoever believe your assumptions is an idiot

  15. If that's my percentage of mass of the observable universe than what's my percentage of mass in the unobservable universe? lol

    I hope I don't break Vsauce

  16. Do you know how subliminal messages really work? By letting you come to your own conclusion – michael is always blowing the camera man – a subliminal message that rubs off on kids.

    Do you know how we know you're part of the liberal agenda? Youtube correctly subtitles your videos.

  17. Someone try and logically justify to me why intergalactic trade would exist? I’ll through in money or credits to that, I doubt these concepts exist in a civilisation that can easily travel through space.

    Yeah ownership is artificial only exists because of our limitations at this moment, we will soon be able to transition away from scarcity, you could already call the scarcity artificial and imposed on us

  18. Omg 😲 bro. You’re not so Awesome for this lie. 😉 What will the Creator say bout u putting a price tag 🏷 on something does not belong to any of u. So what you’re tell the world is that the earth isn’t worth nothing more than a whole bunch of fiat currency 💴 Paper 🧻????? Right???🧐🤔🤫🤥🤥

  19. I think we are more like parasites then farts. We need our host to survive. And look at us, we are killing our host

  20. more like earths first money shot.. Think about it. In the human body, there's a huge amount of build up and tension, even slight anxiety in the moments before busting off, and when the big moment finally happens, nothing shoots further than a few inches, sometimes a very underwhelming amount just oozes out and doesn't even leave the surface of the skin.. and from an outside observer, it seems to happen in an uncontrolled and completely half hazard manner.

    Now think about the totality of manned space missions where there were actual humans on board who managed to make any significant distance away from the surface of the planet. Very few. There's a handful who supposedly went to the moon, but that's not really that far away at all. Most manned rocket missions have simply been like the oozing out style of money shots.. all anticipation and buildup, no real fireworks.. And somebody has to clean em up afterwards with a tissue because they're so useless as human beings.

  21. It would be so cool if we could have alien Friends/allies and exchange knowledge and technology. And maybe even have some of them live here some day. I hope that this happens one day. Though I'm honestly worried because I feel like we bastard humans will take advantage of this.

  22. Its undoubted that there are aliens somehwere in the universe but there could prephaps be no other intelligent life. We struggle to realise how unlikely and amazi g it is to evolve as much as we have

  23. The simple economic answer is the same as to the question why an American family looking for a new home doesn't shop for obviously cheap real estate in, let's say, Belize: the commute is a killer, in this case quite literally.

  24. I can almost see A hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy type thingwhere in alien shows up saying they would like to purchase planet Earth

  25. " You are about 1.9×10^-51% of the mass of the observable universe."
    – Vanessa Feltz must be about 20% – 25%

  26. 1. What right of ownership do you or anyone else have to sell the earth ? …None
    2. Even if you did have that right of ownership – who would have the money to buy it from you anyway ?
    3. Would Donald Trump try and acquire it anyway ? ….Probably

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