However, reddit user 1337spb did the math and showed that you could fit all of the world’s 7.26 billion people in a circle with a diameter of just 50km (31 miles).
London’s M25 Motorway (an orbital highway around London), in contrast, has an average diameter of between 64 and 80km (40-50 miles). Plenty of space to fit the world’s 7 billion people.
While anti-immigration activists would obviously be horrified at such an outcome, XKCD points out that there are far more practical reasons why this would be a bad idea. Mainly, it would be next to impossible for most people to get out alive.
For similar types of though experiments have a look at:
- What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
- Does Anything Eat Wasps?: And 101 Other Questions (New Scientist)
- Question Everything: 132 science questions – and their unexpected answers (New Scientist)
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