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