b) Length factor 1/10,000 >>> volume factor 1/1,000,000,000,000
After having sensed modest downsizing we will have a look
at the size and volume relations of man and tardigrade:
Everyone of us tends to be fascinated by big animals. E.g. a 35 m whale
has the 20fold body length of a man. Thus man is not so far away from the
"large end" on the body size scale of organisms.
In contrary the distance from man to minature organisms is much more pronounced.
Several times we stated that tardigrades are smaller than Homo sapiens
by a factor of 1,000 - and we've received no complaints. But actually this value
of 1,000 is wrong. Let's have a closer look: A man might have a body size of 1.70 m.
This is eqal to 1,700 mm. In contrast an adult tardigrade might have a body size of 0.17 mm.
When dividing the body size of man (1,700 mm) by the body size of the tardigrade (0.17 mm)
we will note that the length relation between man and tardigrade is even 10,000 : 1 !
A factor of 1,000 would have already been astonishing but a factor of 10,000
is a real miracle.
In spite of its tiny size a tardigrade is able to see, to smell, to run, to crawl and to kiss.
When thinking back to our first factor 3 experiment most of us will admit that a
size factor of 10,000 is already well beyond our everyday imagination capacity.
So we might go one step back and have a look at one of those 10fold toy magnifiers
(as shown below in order to exemplify the downsizing factor of 10,000).