Do You Reckon There Are More Legs Or Eyes In The World?

Don't forget about fish.

eyes or legs

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I have officially ended my friendship with the doors vs wheels debate. The legs vs eyes debate is my new best friend.

Much like the question of whether there are more doors or wheels in the world, which quite literally plagued my mind for a solid week earlier this year, I cannot stop thinking about another probably unanswerable question: are there more legs or eyes in the world?

The question has been floating around TikTok for a few weeks now, but despite thousands of people weighing in, we still can’t come to a conclusive answer.

For the purpose of this question — on account of the fact that I am writing this article and, therefore, I make the rules — we are only going to include living, naturally occurring legs.

This means chair legs, table legs, prosthetic legs and doll legs don’t count, nor do googly eyes.

More than 1,000 people voted on the question when I posed it on Twitter last night, with 57.9 percent of people claiming that there are more legs than eyes. But I simply cannot agree.

Everyone’s knee-jerk reaction when asked this question is to consider whether more humans are missing a leg or an eye — forgetting about all of the animals that grace the planet alongside us.

From here, the natural progression is to consider how many animals are born with four legs — it’s got to be legs, right?


You see, you forgot about the ocean, where a majority of animals have at least two eyes, but no legs. Starfish have five, while some molluscs can have hundreds of eyes and not a single leg.

But it gets more complicated, again, when you consider insects — which often have at least six legs. However, the praying mantis, the wasp and the bee — for example — have each been blessed with five eyes.

Oh, and we can’t forget that most lizards and frogs have three eyes.

According to my research, invertebrates account for a whopping 97 percent of the animals that inhabit the Earth, which means we basically just need to work out — on average — if they have more legs or eyes.

This is where it gets difficult, though, because while we have countless species with six or eight legs in the invertebrate class, many invertebrates quietly have eyes coming out the wazoo.

Case in point: the Monarch butterfly, each of whom are blessed with a grand total of 12,000 eyes. Unfortunately, though, the Monarch butterfly population has whittled down from 1.2 million in the ’90s to just 2,000 today.

After spending an inappropriately long time thinking about this question, I have concluded that we simply will not have a definitive answer without having a concrete list of every invertebrate species and its respective population, which requires far more mathematic ability than this journalist possesses.

But for now, I am firmly on team eyes.