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Sunday, April 16, 2017

The world's most spoken language is a smell

China, the most populous country in the world, has close to one billion people that speak Mandarin. Spanish is spoken by a less than half that number, primarily in Mexico, Spain and the countries in South America. English follows close behind, with Hindi in India and Arabic in the Middle East making up the top five. Or so you would think.
The most common language in the world is actually not human at all. In fact, it is not even spoken. Research has shown that micro-organisms communicate with each other, and that bacteria and fungi — which far outnumber all animals and plants on Earth, by several hundreds of orders of magnitude — talk among themselves and to each other using fragrances, especially terpenes.

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