Suppose there was a family who were suddenly scaled up to the size of the ones in Gulliver's travels, about 72 feet tall, 12:1 proportionally scaled up.

For the purposes of the question ignore the impossible Biology of such people, This question is only about the effects someone would notice if they were suddenly scaled up?

Also assume that their entire house is also scaled up along with them.

The Question

What would a person who has been scaled up start to notice in their immediate surroundings, how might things act differently to a giant person?

Ex: things seeming to fall much faster and making a larger impact on the ground , Things seemingly break more easily, water acting differently.

Additional info

  • liquids are not scaled up, only solids

  • They do not go outside, they are only noticing the effects inside the house

  • Solids that are scaled up are only scaled in size , not strength


  • This question is only about the environment, not the giants themselves. I want to know how things might act differently on larger scales

  • Assume the house has regular items almost every house has (Fridge, Sink, ect..)

  • $\begingroup$ So are we to take this question as some kind of opposite of How would I know if I were a 1 mm tall robot? $\endgroup$ – a CVn Oct 20 '16 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ That would be a correct assumption $\endgroup$ – totally not rick sanchez Oct 20 '16 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ Rick you're basically asking, how does the world work when you're bigger? $\endgroup$ – James Oct 20 '16 at 14:12
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    $\begingroup$ You are now 12^3 = 1728 times more massive, but your bones and muscles are only 12^2 = 144 times bigger in cross-section. The bones break, the muscles falter. You fall down. You die. $\endgroup$ – cobaltduck Oct 20 '16 at 14:13
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    $\begingroup$ It has been stated in the question to ignore their biology and focus on the enviroment $\endgroup$ – totally not rick sanchez Oct 20 '16 at 14:13

Well, the first thing they'll notice is that there's no running water, because the municipal pipes will not have "grown" with their house. In light of this, I find the "they do not go outside" constraint a little silly.

Power lines will also, very likely, have snapped, so their appliances will have stopped working. In addition to this, electronics don't work flawlessly when scaled willy-nilly. The material properties of various circuit components will probably cause them to fail spectacularly, and they now have giant batteries attached, don't you know. So now their house is probably on fire, and there's no running water, or working phone lines.

And so, assuming they've now stuck their head out the window in an effort to figure out what's up, they'll realize that they're most likely doomed to starve to death. Solid items scaled up, so the food in their pantry has also increased in size, however, once that runs out they're stuck with measly, human-sized food products. And at 72 feet tall, even a whole cow is only a small snack.

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You can ignore the physical realities of your body's biology, but you can't ignore the fact that everything else around you has a mass that increases by $12^3 = 1728$ times while you grow 12 times in height. Your 36 foot tall dinner table that used to weight 50 lbs now weighs 43 tons, your chef's knife 800 lbs.

Even if you assume that your strength is scaling up proportionate to mass (not height), the strain on some of the materials in your house might be too much to bear. For example, I think there are a lot of table designs where wood, no matter how thick, could not support so man tons of weight on legs 50 feet apart or more. I think they would notice because random household items would collapse under their own weight.

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  • $\begingroup$ King the question specifically states: ignore the impossible Biology of such people $\endgroup$ – James Oct 20 '16 at 14:23
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    $\begingroup$ @James Which is why I'm talking about household items. $\endgroup$ – kingledion Oct 20 '16 at 14:26
  • $\begingroup$ Not true. Modulus of e.g. pipes rises with diameter to the fourth power. Imagine a toy Eiffel tower: If you scale it down, you can easily crush it with your hand at some point. It's the other way round: You won't be able to open your door, because the spring in the handle is much too stiff!. Or unbutton your jeans: Impossible. Sofa has become very uncomfortable. Not to mention your hair breaking off if you touch it. $\endgroup$ – Karl Oct 20 '16 at 20:27

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