All the gold in the world

29 07 2011

I cannot remember what television show I was watching earlier this week, but it mentioned that all of the gold ever mined in the world would fit into three olympic swimming pools.

This got me thinking – really truly?

So research ahoy, and the statement was close:

  • a total of 165,600 tonnes of gold have been mined in human history, as of 2009 [from here and here]
  • … this would be a cube of approx. 20.4m each side [from here]
  • … in terms of volume, this is approx. 8500m3 [from here]
  • … with around 65% of this mined since 1950 [from here]
  • so as of today, it would be a little more of course…

In terms of visualising this:

  • a standard olympic swimming pool has a minimum volume of 2500m3 (depending on depth) [from here] – so from the volume above this would be about 3 (perhaps a little into a fourth) swimming pool.
  • a second common means of visualising it is that the cube would fit under the Eiffel Tower – as the height of the 1st floor of the tower is 57m [from here], then of course yes it would. This doesn’t seem too helpful to me actually.
  • Another story I read compared the volume to a small office building [from here] …
  • Lastly, this made me smile [from here]

click on image for original


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2 responses

29 07 2011
rachael bee

it was mentioned by brian cox on the wonders of the universe..

29 07 2011
Karen

That’s it! Thank you …




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