• Question: Are there more grains of sand than there are blades of grass on the earth?

    Asked by maym to Hannah, Ian, Jono, Mark on 26 Jun 2013.
    • Photo: Ian Wilson

      Ian Wilson answered on 26 Jun 2013:

      Hi maym,

      Ooh interesting one! I’d say there are more grains of sand.

      There’s SO many grains of sand in all the beaches and deserts around the world and the bottoms of the oceans are largely made up of sand too. Plus there are grains of sand in the soil that grass grows in, everywhere in the world.

      So, there are loads of places where sand exists but grass can’t, but not the other way around. Just don’t ask me to count them all! πŸ˜›



    • Photo: Hannah Brotherton

      Hannah Brotherton answered on 26 Jun 2013:

      Hi maym,
      So did you know every blade of grass has at least one grain of sand in it.
      So how much sand do we have? – You don’t have to understand the maths – you just gotta know THAT’S A LOT O SAND πŸ˜›

      Imagine the grains of sand on the beaches matched 1 to 1 with the gallon quantities of water stretching across the sea. A gallon = 3 785 411.8 millimeters^3 and if a grain of sand is a 0.1mm cube then there are 3,785,411,800 grains. So this TIMES 96000 miles of ocean!!!!! = A lot of sand πŸ˜›

      7,500,000,000,000,000,000 (7.5 quintillion) grains – some think this is the amount of sand in the world – dunno how they worked it out – they probably counted lol

      Grass….someone worked it out for us already. There are 1.6 thousand million million blades of sand in the world.

      But sand is always being produced and grass is always being cut….so we will always have more and more sand and less and less grass


    • Photo: Jono Bone

      Jono Bone answered on 27 Jun 2013:

      Hi maym,

      My instinct says there more sand (think about all the deserts). But less look at some calulations.

      The radius of Earth is roughly 6000-7000 km, so its surface area is about 100000000 km^2 or 10000000000000000 cm^2. Now if there 1 blade of grass per cm^2 . As not every bit of the surface is covered in grass (some has more than 1 blade per cm^2).Then there would be no more than 10000000000000000 blades of grass.

      Someone else has calculated that there is about 700,500,000,000,000,000,000 grains of sand
      (see http://www.hawaii.edu/suremath/jsand.html). So yes there is more grains of sand than blades of grass!