Too Big for the Camera

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

Too Big for the Camera

November 8, 2014

All the trees swaying above our heads seem pretty tall. And they are: maples grow to 30 feet and up, pines reach 40 to 60 feet, and oaks can reach 80 feet. But that’s nothing compared to the sequoia, which can grow hundreds of feet tall with a trunk as wide as a house. One sequoia in California, named The President, is so huge that it can’t even fit into a photo! You’d have to stand so far away with your camera that you wouldn’t be able see it through the other trees. So some folks at National Geographic decided to make a photo of it by stitching together lots of little photos. This 3,200-year-old tree is 247 feet tall, and those teeny-looking photographers and scientists needed to use ropes and pulleys to climb the tree and take thousands of photos. From those they chose 126 pictures that together make a full picture of the tree. Thankfully it takes a lot less work to snap photos of ourselves!

Wee ones: The trunk of a sequoia can be as wide as 40 feet! Which is wider, that or your 8-foot wide car?

Little kids: If this 247-foot President grows to be 1 foot taller in a couple of years, how tall will it be? Bonus: On the Big Tree Registry you can look up all the officially named trees in your state! Oregon has 9, and California has 8 more than that. How many does California have?

Big kids: If the 126 photos were lined up in 2 tall columns of equal length, how many would be in each one?  Bonus: If instead the final picture had 15 more photos up and down than the number across, how many photos tall and wide would the final picture have to be?