How many backyard swimming pools could fit into the world’s largest man-made excavation?

How many of the world’s largest oil tankers would it take to fit all the water of Lake Tahoe?

How many of the world’s biggest-by-volume building (Boeing factory in Everett, Washington) could fit into the world’s biggest-by-volume lake (Lake Baikal in Russia)?

Discover extraordinary volumes in this infographic we created for

Best Volumes Poster

Where Did The Idea Come From To Make This Infographic?

Two places:

  1. WaitButWhy put all the world’s water into a big cube and it was eye opening to see how that cube compared in size and volume to Great Lakes and the Western US.
  2. I watched this video of the scale of the universe. It shows the size of the smallest thing – a planck length – and goes up to the biggest thing – the observable universe. I wanted to do something similar but with volumes of things.

Volumes of things are so hard to imagine because they increase by a power of 3 instead of  by power of 2 like area does. And it was funny cause at the same time I was playing with a Rubik’s Cube and decided to make the above infographic with a Rubick’s Cube sort of scale. Each new volume would be made up of more and more Rubik’s Cubes.

After searching around a lot I created my list of cool volumes… From the world’s biggest pool to the world’s biggest man-made excavation all the way up to Mount Everest’s volume and the volume of the Pacific Ocean.

What Is The World’s Fastest Water Pump Used For?

The world’s fastest pump is the Nijhuis Pumps HP1-4000.340 and it pumps water at a rate of 60,000 litres per second. That is pumping an Olympic size swimming pool worth of water every 42 seconds. It could empty the Central Park Reservoir in 18 hours.

So what’s it used for?

They use it in the Netherlands to control water flow in flood zones. Basically they have cities entirely below sea level so they know they are going to flood. The solution engineers came up with is to control and divert the flood water away from the populated areas. So they have built areas that are intentionally flooded. These pumps pump water from the populated areas to the designated to flood areas thus preventing loss of life and property damage.

List of The Volumes Used in The Infographic

  • Big backyard swimming pool (92.6 m3)
  • Olympic size swimming pool (2,500 m3)
  • World’s largest swimming pool (250,000 m3)
  • T1 Class Supertanker (503,000 m3)
  • Boeing Everrett Factory (13,300,000 m3)
  • World’s largest man-made excavation (4,060,000,000 m3)
  • Lake Tahoe (151,000,000,000 m3) = (151 km3)
  • Mt Everest (2,413 km3)
  • Lake Baikal (23,600 km3)
  • Gulf of Mexico (2,500,000 km3)
  • Pacific Ocean (660,000,000 km3)

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