From the Magazine Magazine

Ten Fun Facts About Algae

Algae can power planes, churn out—and eat up—oxygen, grow to hundreds of feet, and more.

1) Percent of oxygen produced by algae: 30-50

2) Milligrams of carrageenans, a red algae extract, the average American consumes daily, often in dairy products: 250

3) Maximum length, in feet, that kelp, the largest algae, can grow: 200

4) Times more productive algae is than traditional crops as a biofuel: 50

5) Number of Continental Airlines flight that, in November, was the first U.S. commercial passenger trip powered by algae biofuel: 1403

6) Years ago, after a mass extinction, that algae and bacteria consumed all of the sea’s oxygen, slowing the earth’s recovery: 250,000,000

7) Number of glowing algae that can be found in a gallon of water from Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent bays: 720,000

8) Number of moderate to large algal cells, per milliliter of water, needed for an algal bloom: 15,000

9) Area, in square miles, of the Mississippi River’s dead zone, where decaying algae have depleted oxygen: 8,500

10) Number of cells in the most basic algae: 1

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