How many roads are there in the world?

We are introducing a new column today. Its name already says it all: it’s called “Oddities” and it’s made up of news or brief facts that satisfy some question you may have had or even – why not? – some doubts you never had.
Why is the hare called a hare? Why do athletic tracks run counterclockwise? Oddities, or what is also used to be called “General Culture.” You might then find information that could win you a TV quiz, a game of Trivial Pursuit, or a public contest-you never know!
Shall we start? Come on!

Do you know how much you walk every day? If you have a smartwatch, chances are you know this well. You don’t even need to have one: your cell phone also counts your steps and tracks the physical activity you do. Well, let’s go to the numbers: on average, a human being takes 7,000 steps a day. “Average,” because I can already hear you saying, “But I make twice as much!” I know it well, in fact there are those who do many less than you and you are lending them.

However, it’s not a competition. Do you know then how many you make in a life of 80 years? More than 200 million, or the equivalent of 176,000 km.
They may seem like so many or so few to you, or-most likely-they will seem like nothing in particular because they are A HUGE LENGTH. Like how much? Like 4.4 times the circumference of the Earth, because its circumference is 40,075 km.

And this is only the distance we walk because, given technology and transportation, on average a human being travels 1.5 million kilometers in his or her lifetime. How does he do it? By car, by train, on the bus, by plane. In other words, transportation allows us to travel almost 10 times the distance we would travel with our legs alone.

Speaking of roads: do you know how many roads the ancient Romans built to connect all their provinces with Rome? As many as 400,000 km of which 80,000 were paved.

And since this column is called oddities I will also take away the last one, and that is, “How many roads are there in the world today?”
As many as 65 million kilometers of them were counted in 2018, 64.19% of which were paved.

Do we runners care whether they are paved or not? We go everywhere. In short, know that to travel all the roads in the world would take you about 369 … lives!

(Photo by Jack Anstey on Unsplash)


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