This is a problem that has been puzzling me for a while, however, I want to know what the 'biggest' real-world Matryoshka Doll is.

As an example I could have a pencil in a pencil case in my drawer in my desk in my room in my house. If I wanted I could also take the example of the pencil lead and get another layer of 'nesting'.

I have heard that the most times a piece of paper can be folded is seven times, any more than that and the height of the paper is several times the diameter of the known universe, so there is some limit there. I wonder if there is also a limit to the Matryoshka Doll 'nesting' scenario.

I don't care what the small object size is - it could be a chunk of a molecule - but I do want to know what the most nested item is on planet earth.


closed as off-topic by Frostfyre, F1Krazy, L.Dutch, sphennings, Vincent Aug 1 '17 at 16:44

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about worldbuilding, within the scope defined in the help center." – Frostfyre, F1Krazy, L.Dutch, sphennings
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm... not entirely sure this is a world-building question, but I'm not sure where else this would be on-topic either. $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Aug 1 '17 at 15:27
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    $\begingroup$ The lead in the pencil should not count. It must be a pencil case in a pencil case in a pencil case. $\endgroup$ – Willk Aug 1 '17 at 15:36
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site. The paper-folding myth was busted by the Mythbusters. Beyond that, this does not appear to be a worldbuilding question. If you haven't already, I would suggest taking the tour and checking out what is on-topic for the site. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Aug 1 '17 at 15:37
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    $\begingroup$ Folding a paper seven times is "several times the diameter of the known universe"? It must be a very tiny universe... $\endgroup$ – SJuan76 Aug 1 '17 at 15:45
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    $\begingroup$ Also, the main limiting factor for you Matryoshka Doll scenario is how similar the layers are obliged to be. In the dolls, they're typically very similar, but there's differences in each layer. If you don't address those limits, the answer is "the largerst obejct is the universe, and it nests down to any particular proton you please." $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Aug 1 '17 at 16:39

Dendrochronology is the scientific method of dating tree rings. As the tree ages, new growth occurs near the bark of the tree. Each year, a new ring (or "shell", "nest" if you want) encases the old rings.

Wikipedia indicates that the journal here has the oldest tree ring measurements as around 13 900 years, but that number just refers to measurements.

enter image description here

Live Science says the oldest tree in the world is 5062 years old. You could use this as a rough number for number of nests.

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    $\begingroup$ But that span of 14 millennia is of course made up of multiple trees, not one tree. The entire point of dendrochronology is to make it possible to place into correspondence the growth rings of one tree with those of another tree; in this way, when a piece of wood is found by archaeologists they can find out when the tree was cut. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Aug 1 '17 at 15:44
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP Good point, it was measurements and not the actual tree. I'll change the answer a bit. $\endgroup$ – Wolfgang Aug 1 '17 at 15:51
  • $\begingroup$ Great job of making lemonade from lemons. $\endgroup$ – Spencer Aug 2 '17 at 0:26

Crystals have layers often one atom thick. Even a small grain has a lot of layers.

The degenerate matter in some red supergiant cores should have a lattice structure. If "biggest" means most massive then neutron stars.


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