Friday, December 14, 2007

A Most Interesting Picture

click to enlarge

A former student of mine, an Air Force Academy cadet, forwarded this picture to me.

A most interesting and impressive picture. If anyone has any further details than what's written on the picture itself, please add them in the comments.

There's something gnawing at me, though, and the math teacher in me just can't let it go. I'm not going to get out a magnifying glass and count, but it just doesn't look to me like there are 18,000 men in that picture. The "pedestal" doesn't appear to include 100 men, and it doesn't look like the pedestal is 1/180th of the entire "statue".

Still, though, most interesting--a great tribute to liberty.

Yes, the picture appears to be copyrighted, but I'm assuming that the copyright has run out. If it hasn't and the copyright owner would prefer I remove the picture, I trust that person will let me know and I'll of course comply.


Anonymous said...

Snopes says it's true ...

Darren said...

Apparently an "optical illusion" of sorts causes the arm and torch to be much longer than the body, so that from the angle of viewing it seems to have the proper proportions. So, the 18,000 men can be real.

Thanks for the Snopes cite.

Anonymous said...

There are several such pictures out there. They're quite interesting to see from directly overhead. Very distorted to compensate for the perspective. The torch must have been huge. No trivial matter to plan such a photo!

Darren said...

Sounds like a great trigonometry problem :-)

Fritz J. said...

A friend of mine in Santa Rosa has an original print of the picture up for auction on eBay. The item number is 230202210436 should you care to check it out. I also suspect she would be more than happy to answer questions about it through the ask seller a question feature of eBay. I don't know what it is, but she wrote that her reserve is high and so far at $255 the reserve has not been met, so unless you are a collector of such I doubt that many people would be interested in bidding on it.

There is a link on the auction to a high resolution scan of it in which you can read the print at the bottom of the picture.