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It Would Take Way More Seagulls To Lift James' Peach

Host Rachel Martin delves into the physics behind Roald Dahl's childrens' classic, James and the Giant Peach. Physics students at the University of Leicester calculated that it would take 2,425,907 seagulls to lift James' Giant Peach, making Roald Dahl's number (501), entirely insufficient.

Transcript

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The children's author, Roald Dahl's most famous stories may strain belief, certainly, though some of us are hoping to find a golden ticket in a bar of chocolate someday. But in his book, "James and the Giant Peach," Dahl came up with a mostly plausible way to move a giant piece of stone fruit: A flock of 501 seagulls. But some physics students from England's Leicester University weren't so sure.

Figuring the potential weight of the peach, which Dahl wrote was about the size of a small house, they multiplied its density by its volume and calculated that you'd need more than 2.4 million seagulls to get that peach into the air.

We're hoping the students next school project figures out the scientific elements of the potion that actually grew that giant peach in the first place.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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