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How much is 56?

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It's about the number of Countries in Africa.
(2016 figures) (sovereign states recognized by the UN only)
The continent of Africa includes 54 sovereign countries recognized by the United Nations as of 2016. It is the second-most populous continent in the world, with 1.1 billion inhabitants.
It's about one-and-one-fifth times the number of Teeth in a Great White Shark's Mouth.
In other words, the count of Teeth in a Great White Shark's Mouth is 0.83 times 56.
(Carcharodon carcharias) (average; including developing rows)
A Great White Shark has 48 exposed teeth on their upper and lower jaws. Behind these exposed teeth are developing teeth — up to 300 in about 5 rows. The sharks will continuously lose and replace the exposed teeth throughout their lives.
It's about four-fifths the number of Submarines in the US Navy.
In other words, 56 is 0.78 times the count of Submarines in the US Navy, and the count of Submarines in the US Navy is 1.3 times that amount.
(a.k.a. Subs) (includes all types, all classes) (2015 figures)
The United States Navy maintains a fleet of 72 active submarines. A typical submarine goes to sea with a crew of about 140.
It's about two-thirds the number of Keys on a Piano.
In other words, the count of Keys on a Piano is 1.6 times 56.
(Moden layout; A0 to C7)
It's about half the number of Wolves in Yellowstone National Park.
In other words, 56 is 0.538 times the count of Wolves in Yellowstone National Park, and the count of Wolves in Yellowstone National Park is 1.86 times that amount.
(a.k.a. Henihco'oo; a.k.a. Héetíhco'oo) (December 2014 figures; Wyoming Park area)
It's about two times the number of Countries in the European Union.
In other words, the count of Countries in the European Union is 0.5 times 56.
(a.k.a. EU) (2016 figures)
It's about half the number of Elements on the Periodic Table.
In other words, 56 is 0.475 times the count of Elements on the Periodic Table, and the count of Elements on the Periodic Table is 2.11 times that amount.
(a.k.a. Periodic Table of the Elements, a.k.a chemical elements) (confirmed elements as of 2016)