Humans consume a ton of data. Well, quite more than a ton, according to University of Southern California researchers Martin Hilbert (pictured above) and Priscilla Lopez. While studying the relationship between humanity and data, the pair found two very large, startling numbers. First up: 296 exabytes. That's the amount of data humanity as a whole is able to store if you add up all the USB thumb drives, CDs, hard drives, and even video cassettes.

The second number is a bit higher: 1.9 zettabytes. That's the amount of data that we waste. According to their study, we broadcasted that amount of data from sources like TVs and GPS systems in 2007. And both of these numbers of growing.

To put those numbers in perspective, a zettabyte is 1,000 exabytes. An exabyte is 1,000 petabytes. A petabyte is 1,000 terabytes. A terabyte is 1,000 gigabytes. And you should know what a gigabyte is.

And you thought you were killing it with your 2 terabyte hard drive.

[CNET]