A recent posting by Tim Urban of Wait But Why titled 7.3 Billion People, One Building used some basic science to determine that yes, it would be possible to fit the entire Earth’s population into one building, if it were big enough and we stacked on top of each other like sardines.
As part of the research and article, Urban also determined that all the planet’s people could also fit flat (i.e. no sardines) within the bounds of New York City, Starting with the premise that on average 10 people could pack in to a square meter, he determined that each borough could hold enough people to contain everybody.
The current global population is 7.3 billion so you would need a piece of land that’s 18.6 miles on each side, which is actually smaller than New York City. More specifically:
- Manhattan could fit 590 million people
- Brooklyn could fit 1.38 billion people
- Queens could fit 2.83 billion people
- bronx could fit 1.09 billion people
- Staten Island could fit 1.51 billion people
The full writeup is quite funny so check it out if you have an extra minute or two.