These numbers on insects are quite staggering: There are more than 200 million insects for every human being living on the planet, and there are between 1 and 10 quintillion insects which are surrounding us in almost every environment on Earth. Insects account for well over half of all of all multicellular species, and come in around a million different variants. Around 479 million years ago insects appeared on the planet, long before the dinosaurs, and long before us. They developed flight 400 million years ago, which means they had total air dominance for more than 150 million years. Insects have survived 5 mass extinction events. There are around 24,000 species of insect in Britain and Ireland, 72,000 in Europe, and over a million worldwide.