We went to the Portland Rose Garden this fine evening and watched a bunch of enormous guys beat the stuffing out of each other with sticks. Apparently this is called “Lacrosse.” It was full of manliness.

At one point during the game, I pondered the fact that it would take a huge number of catfish to completely fill the Rose Garden. I really don’t know why I thought of that, but now I’m curious, so…

The Rose Garden has a roof that is 210,000 square feet and is 140 feet tall at its pinnacle (source). I’m not going to make this overly complicated because I’m feeling pretty lazy, so I’m just going to take 210,000 and multiply it by 140 to get an internal volume of 29,400,000 feet cubed. Then I’m going to make that an even 29 million, which is still quite a bit too high, to account for the rounded shape of the roof which makes the surface area of 210,000 considerably greater than it would be if it were flat.

Catfish vary greatly in size, but on average are between 3.9 and 5.2 feet long (source). I’m going to be lazy and use 4.5 feet as the length of a catfish. I’m going to be even lazier and say that catfish are approximately cylindrical in order to more easily calculate the volume of one, and guesstimate that the diameter of a 4.5-foot-long catfish would be about 1 foot. Therefore, the volume of a catfish in cubic inches is pi times r squared, or 36 pi, times 54 (4.5 times 12 inches is where that number came from), for a total of 1944 pi, which is 6104 cubic inches or about 3.5 cubic feet. (Why did I convert to inches first? I have no idea.)

29,000,000 divided by 3.5 is 8,285,714.

Given my extremely high estimate of the Rose Garden’s volume, plus the fact that I didn’t account for any solid objects (walls, seating, etc.) within the Rose Garden, 8,285,714 is too many catfish. A round 8 million is almost definitely still too many… But in any case, I think it’s safe to assume that completely filling the Rose Garden with catfish would require, well, a lot of catfish. Millions of them. Certainly over nine thousand.

If I did something stupid when calculating stuff, let me know. It’s midnight and I didn’t double check things.