In the popular Roald Dahl children’s story, James and the Giant Peach, the author said it would take a flock of slightly more than 500 seagulls to transport a gigantic peach across the Atlantic Ocean.
Now a group of science students from a British University have put Dahl’s figures to the test and discovered that it would take more than a large flock of birds to transport such an enormous fruit.
In a recently published research paper, the students report that almost two and a half million seagulls would be required to accomplish the task, or 2,425,907 gulls to be exact.
“Although James could have successfully sailed his peach in the manner described by Roald Dahl, for a peach of the dimensions calculated, it would not be possible to fly such a heavy object with the assistance of such a diminutive number of birds,” their paper said.
“He would have to harness 2,425,907 seagulls in order to fly to America.”
The students calculated the weight and dimensions of the peach from the book itself as well as by watching the Disney animated movie to determine that transporting the fruit would require almost 5 tons of force to lift it off the ground and carry it over any distance.
“Whether Silkworm and Mrs Spider could have managed this is unknown,” they said, referring to the two companions who lure the gulls into lifting the peach.