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How Tall Can a Lego Tower Get Without Crushing the Legos?

Men participate in the building of a 32.5 meter tall tower made of ‘Lego’ toy pieces on September 8, 2012, in Prague. A Danish Lego engineer, with the help of Czech children, beat the previous world record for a Lego tower by 30 cms. The previous record was set in Winsdor, Great Britain, on July 6, 2012. AFP PHOTO / MICHAL CIZEK (Photo credit should read MICHAL CIZEK/AFP/GettyImages)

Photo by MICHAL CIZEK/AFP/GettyImages

One of the Internet’s favorite scientific mysteries has been solved: How many Legos stacked atop one another would generate enough force to crush the one at the bottom?

Answer: many, many Legos. A research team working with the BBC has determined it would take 375,000 individual Lego bricks to crush the unlucky one on the bottom. That would mean a Lego tower 2.2 miles tall—or nearly 2,000 feet higher than Mount Olympus.

The researchers used a hydraulic testing machine to simulate the pressure the Lego tower would generate. Rather than a satisfying explosion when the pressure became too great, the bottom Lego simply melted—an anticlimax the engineers attributed to “plastic being plastic.”

To the eternal heartbreak of Lego fanboys everywhere, the team said it would be “totally structurally impossible” to recreate the crushing tower in real life.