Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Plague Gauge

"This is what the LORD says: By this you will know that I am the LORD: With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood. The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink; the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water."
— Exodus 7:17–18

Eeeew!  How many people would it take to make a river of blood? 

According to the Wikipedia, the Nile discharges 2830 m3 of water each second.  You'd need an equivalent flow rate of blood to produce a Nile-sized river.  According to the American Red Cross, you can give 1 pint of blood once every 56 days. To produce a river worth of blood, you would need a total of

# of people = (flow rate required) / (flow rate per person)
= ( 2830 m3/s ) / ( 1 pint / 56 days )
= 2.9 ×1013 people.

That's 4000 times more people than there are in the world today.

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