[WGF:6] Apples and oranges? Mountains and pancakes.


This is not the tallest mountain in the world.

They say that if you could hold the earth in the palm of your hand, that it would be smoother than the surface of a cue ball. That seems hard to believe, but who am I to argue? Let’s just take a moment to look at some very basic dimensions of the Earth:

Highest point – Mt Everest at 29,035 ft or…

Twice the height of Mount Rainier

48 Space Needles

A stack of 116,140 pancakes

Lowest point – Challenger Deep (Mariana Trench) at -35,840 ft or…

1.23 times the height of Mount Everest

37 times the height of the Columbia Tower

174 times the depth of Puget Sound (at its avg depth of 205 ft)

Distance around the equator – 24,907.47 mi or…

9.11 times the distance from Seattle to Miami

14,651 times the distance across the Golden Gate Bridge

160,300 times around a track

This is not the longest bridge in the world. Not even close.

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3 Comments on “[WGF:6] Apples and oranges? Mountains and pancakes.

  1. A couple of questions:

    How do you define highest point? Distance from sealevel to the top? Or farthest point from the center of the earth?

    Chimborazo is 6,384.4 kilometers from the center of the earth; while Everest is 6,382.3 kilometers from the center, 2.1 km less.

    Also, most marbles are about 1.25 cm in diameter. The earth is (on average) 6,371.0 km in diameter, or about 5.097 x10^8 larger than the marble.

    If you scale the sum between the highest height and the lowest depth (8,848m + 11030m = 19878m), that would be 39um (micrometers). For comparison, a strand of human hair is about 100 μm wide and red blood cells are approx. 8 μm in diameter! So yes, a very smooth marble indeed. (Source: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Micrometre)

    Also, can you use the metric system on your blog…it would make you almost infinitely awesome.

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    • 1. Distance from sea-level to top – as that option best serves our purposes here.
      2. Marbles? Cue ball.
      3. Thanks for doing that math! I should have to make more of a point, but don’t know how :)
      3a. If you check my math you’ll see those pancakes would have to be pretty thick for that equation to work. Ooops! haha.
      4. Since that post, I’ve written about my upcoming 12k – so far so good with usage of the metric system!
      5. My mom wonders if you have too much time on your hands?

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  2. 1. Does it really though serve our purposes best? The force due to gravity is Fgrav = (G * m1 * m2) / d^2, where “d” is the distance between the two objects, measured from the center of mass. For the earth, the distance used is from the center, not sea-level.

    2. American cue balls are 57 mm in diameter. The earth is (on average) 6,371.0 km in diameter, or about 1.1177 x 10^8 larger than the cue ball.

    If you scale the sum between the highest height and the lowest depth (8,848m + 11030m = 19878m), that would be 177.8 µm (micrometers). For comparison, a strand of human hair is about 100 μm wide.

    4. Excellent!

    5. Never.

    Like

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