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in Brief

I Didn't Know That...

August 31, 2000

Q. When I am standing on the beach staring out to sea, how far away is the horizon?

A. That depends on how tall you are. In general, the distance to the horizon (in miles) can be calculated by taking the square root of the height above the surface (in feet) divided by 0.5736. If you are six feet tall, your eyes are about 5.5 feet above the surface and the distance to the horizon is about 3 miles. For Shaquille O'Neal, the distance is about 3.5 miles. When your ship comes in , he'll be the first to see it.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday September 7, 2000 Home Edition Metro Part B Page 2 Metro Desk 2 inches; 41 words Type of Material: Correction
Calculating distance--The calculation of the distance to the horizon in the Aug. 31 "I Didn't Know That" was subject to misinterpretation. The distance is found by dividing the height in feet by 0.5736 and taking the square root of the result. For a height of 5.5 feet, the answer is 3.097 miles.

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