Here’s a question to Kerry, my good friend and teacher of Physics in Calgary who’s also a master of Astrophysics.
(He’s also an amateur comedian as well, apparently.)
Kerry! I’ve got a question: What would it be like to be 37,000 feet tall?
I was flying on a plane the other day and looking down at the city of Atlanta from the window seat and wondered what size lake, perhaps, might provide a 37,000-foot-tall giant with a decent slurp of water?
Or what might he find to eat to fill his massive, miles-long stomach?
Or how long would it take for him to walk around the globe?
Stuff like that. Lemme know!
Kerry: Hey, this is kind of a neat idea! If a standard human male is six feet tall and that person grows to be a height of 37,000 feet tall, then each foot on your giant would be about a mile long.
Each would also be about a third of a mile wide!
So, just putting those big feet down is going to be a big problem.
At that height he couldn’t even walk through a city at all - his foot wouldn’t fit between buildings. He would trample millions of people with just one step if he ever stepped foot in New York City or Mexico City -- maybe even more in Tokyo.
His hands would be about 3800 feet long – that’s about three-quarters of a mile apiece. So, picking up Earthly objects would be extremely difficult. For example, let’s say he wanted to pick up a 15-foot-long pickup truck: for your giant, that would be like trying to grasp the teensiest grain of sand…and nearby humans would be the size of the dusty pollen specks around that grain of sand!
For movement, each step your giant takes would cover the distance of about three miles. And each of his legs would be moving at a brisk 19,000 miles per hour!
Which works out to be about Mach 25.
Which means that each of his strides would easily break the sound barrier.
Which means that sonic booms and pressure waves would erupt with every step he takes!
Which equates to about 8,000 Hiroshima level nuclear explosions per step!
Which means: your giant’s gonna need himself a pair of fireproof pants.
On the brighter side, though, he could circle the globe in just about an hour on foot.
There’s a reason why commercial airplanes fly so high, Ferrill: because the air up there is very thin.
In fact, at 37,000 feet there is maybe one quarter of the oxygen available to your giant compared to what his lungs are accustomed to down here on Earth’s surface.
Heck, at above 25,000 feet, humans can’t even survive! So, considering your giant would be trying to breathe in copious amounts of air into his gigantic, miles-long lungs (mind you, air that is not at all fortified with any substantial amounts of oxygen), he’ll also be breathing faster, which means you just might have yourself a hyperventilating giant.
Oh, and the temperature up there is going to be very cold, too: approximately negative 40 degrees F.
So do try to get your poor giant at the very least a nice, warm hat.