In this special edition of 60-Second Science Video, two numbers compete. Which is larger? The number of tiny LEGO bricks it would take to build the Great Pyramid or the number of trees on Earth?
[SLIDE RULE SLIM:] Welcome to Scientific American’s Epic Math Battles. In this corner, in various colors of green and brown, the trees on Earth. And in this corner, currently wearing a lovely light beige, LEGOs* to build the Great Pyramid. Go!
[THE GREAT PYRAMID:] Thank you very much everyone, I’m very pleased to be here. I just want to remind everyone: Pyramids are Huge. And I’m not just any pyramid, I’m the Great Pyramid. I’m pretty big. And LEGOs—LEGOs are tiny. The Earth, mm, pretty big, but most of it is water.
[ALL THE TREES:] Like, does he know how big the Earth is? Like the Earth has like 148 trillion square meters of land. That’s like, so large.
[THE GREAT PYRAMID:] The biggest tree is about up to my waistline. I am 146.5 meters high.
[ALL THE TREES:] He’s so beige and blah! Like I’m all of the trees on Earth. He is ONE pyramid on ONE continent. I am all of the continents and all of the trees.
[THE GREAT PYRAMID:] When you think about how small LEGOs are and how big the great Great Pyramid is, I don’t think this is any contest. Are you ready for this? It is 540 billion LEGOs in the Great Pyramid. Okay, that’s more LEGOs than they have on your planet. Top that.
[ALL THE TREES:] Like, oh my god! I am like three point like something, like three point, like I don’t know, like three trillion trees on the planet!
[SLIDE RULE SLIM:] And the winner is: the eviscerating estimate, the stupefying sum, the mutilating multiplant, is—trees on Earth! And now let’s interview the loser.
[THE GREAT PYRAMID:] What can I say?
[SLIDE RULE SLIM:] And now, the winner.
[ALL THE TREES:] I win, I rule. So awesome.
[SLIDE RULE SLIM:] For Scientific American’s Epic Math Battles, I’m Slide Rule Slim. Thanks for joining us.
[ALL THE TREES:] So awesome!
Director and Executive Producer: Eliene Augenbraun
Cast (in order of appearance):
Slide Rule Slim—Michael Mrak
The Great Pyramid—Jeremy Abbate
All the Trees—Kerrissa Lynch
Producers: Jennifer Hackett, Benjamin Meyers, Dan Schlenoff
Videography and Audio Recording: Eliene Augenbraun, Lydia Chain
Animators: Richard Borge, Lydia Chain, Benjamin Meyers, Shelley Sandiford
Compositor and Editor: Lydia Chain
Audio Engineer and Editor: Lydia Chain
Lighting: Richard Borge, Lydia Chain
Music: written and performed by Jeremy Abbate
Stock Audio and Footage: AudioBlocks, ©iStock.com
Performed and recorded in the Springer Nature Media Suite
New York City
*Editor's Note (4/4/16): Although LEGO is the correct usage for singular and plural, "LEGOs" as a plural form was used in the video transcript because it reflects the informal spoken language used in the video. The hed and dek, however, were edited after the original posting to show the accepted usage.