How Many Cans of SpaghettiOs Would It Take to Write THE LORD OF THE RINGS Trilogy?

Today in very silly math problems, someone has figured out how many cans of SpaghettiOs you would need if you wanted to rewrite the The Lord of the Rings trilogy in that noodle-y medium. You may ask why, but we ask why not. First up, the creative mind behind the @tsj_electronics TikTok account figured out how many of each letter is in the average can of SpaghettiOs. This part of the project required hands-on counting and the rest was programming. 

Each can of SpaghettiOs is about 37% the letter O, with the rest split pretty evenly among the other 25 letters in the alphabet. Though he breezes through this part of the calculation, apparently J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy has 2,261,081 letters in it. The most common letter is E, making it the limiting factor. In order to get all 281,428 E’s needed, you’d have to open 8,795 cans of SpaghettiOs. And you’d also waste a lot of food, with 8,134,609 letters leftover. 

Images from a TikTok of SpaghettiOs and a set of the Lord of the Rings trilogy books
@tsj_electronics/Juniper Books

The TikTok account, which we learned about from GameSpot, has some other fun SpaghettiOs content outside of The Lord of the Rings. After making the program, his first calculation was how many cans it would take to write the script for Bee Movie (192). The SpaghettiOs brand account got in touch, offering to send him and his local food pantry 192 cans each. He also created a font with the noodles and showed off how the letter M and W differ. The calculation involving the King James Bible adds new fun facts. Some of them include the amount of calories and how high that many cans would stack.

This is not the only fun math problem that definitely didn’t need to be solved we’ve seen recently. We also know how much it would have cost E.T. to phone home if he’d used a regular phone and whether or not Westeros dragons are too big to fly on those small wings.

Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth. 

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