## How BIG is Australia?

April 16, 2010

There are 22 million people in Australia. We Aussies might have the reputation of being tough individuals who can open stubbies with our teeth and wrestle crocodiles. But we Aussies aren’t rugged folk. We cling to life in the cities and we couldn’t survive for 3 days in the desert without a latte. If we got lost in the wilderness we’d only survive if we could light a fire by rubbing 2 iPhones together.

We Aussies are ever so slightly spooked by the greatness and vastness of our Red Centre. There aren’t many people out there. You can drive for days without seeing a Macdonald’s.  And, anyone you meet in the red centre is, according to some movies, an unshaven, axe-wielding psychopath. No wonder we stay put in the cities. Being city dwellers, however, we can’t quite grasp the size of Australia.  So how big is Australia?

The area of Australia is 7, 686, 850 sq km.  You’ll find more info @ Nationmaster

Here mathspigs are some interesting comparisons using areas in sq km although the unit doesn’t matter, of course ass long as you keep using the same one. These calcs ignore the shapes. It is astraight area calculation.

Australia = 0.78 USA
Australia = 0.81 China

Australia = 11.0 Texas’s

We often say bigger than Texas in Australia. This is ironic as one of our states

West Australia = 3.63 Texas’s. I can’t imagine saying bigger than West Australia. Maybe it had something to do with the size of those cowboy hats.
Australia = 25.5 Italys
Australia = 28.6 New Zealands

After all of the jokes we make about New Zealand it isn’t that small!!!!! It is bigger, for instance, than UK.
Australia = 31.4 UKs
Australia = 58.26 Greeces
Australia = 185 Netherlands

Australia = 856 Yellowstone National Parks

In fact, one of our National Parks Kakadu is 20,000 sq km. This makes it the second largest National Park in the world (Greenland wins!) and

Kakadu = 2.2 Yellowstone National Parks

Australia = 128,114 Manhattans

Australia = 3, 843, 425 Monacos

This statistic is particularly amusing. The population of Australia is approx 22 million. Divide this figure by the number of Monacos and we have 6 people per princedom. Every family in Australia could, theoretically, have it’s own principality!!!!

Golf courses range from 140 – 250 acres but 250 acres = approx 1 sq km. This is St Andrew’s, Scotland,  18th hole pictured.

Australia = 7, 686, 850 Golf Courses

Turing Australia into 7 million plus golf courses would please some. We have a lot of water traps and sand bunkers. And Australia is, mostly, FLAT.

Australia = 22,345,494 Disneylands

Imagine Australia being turned into 22 million theme parks. It would be amaaaaazing!!!! We would get one Disneyland for each of us!!!!!

Australia = 18, 302, 023, 810 Basketball Courts.

Unfortunately, we can only manage  one player for every 832 basketball courts, which would not make for much of a game.

## Can a house fly??? Can you fly???

April 7, 2010

Thanks to Jason studying maths & physics at University of Minnesota for this suggestion.

Unless you have seen the animated movie UP ‘Can a house fly?’ is a funny question. The movie with the Boy Scout, Carl, and the grumpy old guy had quite a few people asking could a house fly?

We can do the maths, mathspigs! But why do the maths if someone has already done the hard work for you?

The X Change Files blog and Wired magazine have put together some fab calculations.

Unfortunately, all of their calculations are in American units but we can use their calculations as a guide. We will not include the weight of the balloons or string and we will assume the balloons are spherical so the answers are approximations and add a few more balloons to make the house & balloons more buoyant than air. Here is the information you need:

Can you fly?

We know humans can fly using helium balloons as 2nd July 1982 Larry Walters tied 45 weather balloons to a garden chair and flew to an altitude of 4,600m (15,000 ft). He carried a bbgun to shoot balloons for his descent but only hit a couple and dropped the gun. He flew for over 45 mins and was arrested on landing. Larry Walters link.

While I would advise mathspigs against such a stunt it is interesting to calculate how many balloons you would need to fly: