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All COVID-19 particles could fit in a Coke can. Here’s what that means

A British mathematician said all the COVID-19 particles in the world are so small they could fit in a Coke can

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NIAID-RML via Associated Press

A British researcher recently suggested that all the COVID-19 virus particles throughout the world could fit in one can of Coca-Cola soda, according to Sky News.

What happened?

Christian Yates, a mathematician at Bath University, said there are about 2 quintillion COVID-19 particles in the world. But they are so small that they could make up “a few mouthfuls.”

  • “It’s astonishing to think that all the trouble, the disruption, the hardship and the loss of life that has resulted over the last year could constitute just a few mouthfuls,” Yates said.
  • Yates said he reviewed the size of the viral particles to find out their volume. He then calculated that they could fit in a single Coke can if they were all stacked on top of each other, according to the New York Post.

How he figured this out

Yates recently explained how he figured out the size in a piece that he wrote in The Conversation.

  • “When I was asked to calculate the total volume of SARS-CoV-2 in the world for the BBC Radio 4 show ‘More or Less,’ I will admit I had no idea what the answer would be,” Yates wrote.
  • “My wife suggested it would be the size of an Olympic swimming pool. ‘Either that or a teaspoon,’ she said. ‘It’s usually one or the other with these sorts of questions,’” he wrote.

The takeaway

Yates said it’s unfortunate all the grief has come from something so small.

  • “It’s astonishing to think that all the trouble, the disruption, the hardship and the loss of life that has resulted over the last year could constitute just a few mouthfuls of what would undoubtedly be the worst beverage in history.”