The BBC commissioned some engineers from the Open University to work out the solution to the burning problem of exactly how tall a tower made from LEGO bricks could be before the bottom brick collapsed under the weight of all those piled up above it. The engineers worked out exactly how much force a 2×2 brick would take: It turns out to be a lot – you could pile 375,000 bricks into a tower before the bottom one fails. And that equates to a tower 3.5km high.
Of course you couldn’t actually build a tower that high just by piling bricks one on top of another. Apart from any other consideration the bottom brick would fail much more quickly if the tower was not entirely straight ensuring the forces were evenly distributed. Practically speaking you can’t create a tower solely of 2×2 bricks that’s more and 3 or 4m high before it wobbles itself to bits. That doesn’t mean you can’t go higher with more bricks and engineering though but 3.5km seems a bit ambitious.
Hardly the burning question of the ages but, hey, sometimes you just have to know don’t you?
Source: BBC News. Picture BBC News.