# How big would a box full of packing peanuts have to be to injure someone from an impact?

Asked by talljasperman (21683) August 27th, 2011

All things equal (no suffocation or starvation… ect) how big or heavy must the cardboard box be to injure a 30 year old man in good health from 10 feet in the air.

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Whatever weight is considered to be able to hurt a male adult in general.
There’s too many factors. Did he see it fall and try to catch it? Did the corner of the box hit him in the eye? Where did it hit his body?

Blackberry (30893)

@Blackberry Yes he saw it and tried to catch it… No it didn’t hit him in the eye… It hits him on the chest and arms . What is the weight is considered to be able to hurt a male adult in general? I was told it might be around 50 pounds. A Packing peanut is about one gram each… so 1000 grams in a kilo and divide 50 pounds by 2.5 kilos is 20 KG. So 20,000 packing peanuts is the minimum amount of packing peanuts to hurt someone…if my math is good.

talljasperman (21683)

I would guess anywhere between 70–100lbs.

Blackberry (30893)

@Blackberry So how big of a square box can hold 100lbs of packing peanuts minus the weight of the box? Say holding 40,000 packing peanuts? So the real question now is how big of a cubed cardboard box must it be to hold 40,000 packing peanuts?

talljasperman (21683)

Foam peanuts weigh about 0.2 lbs. /cu.ft. according to Wikipedia.

thorninmud (20428)

@thorninmud so the math works to 20 cu.ft. Thanks.

talljasperman (21683)

So It takes 20 cubic feet of cardboard box filled with Packing Peanuts to injure an average man.

talljasperman (21683)

@talljasperman 20 cu.ft. would only be 4lbs of peanuts

thorninmud (20428)

@thorninmud O.k. I’m working on the math.

talljasperman (21683)

@thorninmud So the new total is 500 cu.ft.

talljasperman (21683)

@all So the box must be 500 feet long wide and tall to injure someone minus the weight of the box.

talljasperman (21683)

So it would be extremely difficult to be killed by Packing Peanuts. minus the cardboard box… The box would have to be the size of a large house.

talljasperman (21683)

500 cu.ft is the volume of this container.

thorninmud (20428)

@thorninmud Thanks.

talljasperman (21683)

It could be a really small box. It’s not the weight of the peanuts, at this size, so much as the fact that getting hit in the head or the eye or the groin with a cardboard box is going to hurt.

Kardamom (26219)

@Kardamom So it’s almost impossible to be hurt by Packing Peanuts? I wonder if anyone has ever been injured by a plastic bag of them?

talljasperman (21683)

@talljasperman I think it’s easier to be hurt by them than most people realize, but not so much by their weight but by their heft and by the boxes and bags they’re stored in. Because at the place where I used to work, they used to get those ginormous plastic bags of packing peanuts in the mail room. Sometimes they were stacked up too high. I’ve had one of them fall on top of me and knock me down.

Kardamom (26219)

@Kardamom Thank you, for the help and the tale of caution of Packing Peanuts.

talljasperman (21683)

@all now we know that even Packing Peanuts can injure…but you need lots of them.

talljasperman (21683)

Not very big at all if it hit him in the eye.

marinelife (61081)

Farted out of an elephants rectum, now that would sting a little.

ucme (44453)

A cube with 500 ft^3 would be about 8×8x8 ft. (actually 812 cubic feet). That is large enough and with a small enough density that air resistance might slow it down.

PhiNotPi (12609)

@PhiNotPi Thanks

talljasperman (21683)

If the person is unsuspecting and unlucky I think it’s possible injury could occur with very little weight. A blow to the top of the head with the head at just the wrong angle could injure the spine, and/or cause a reflexive action that will sprain the neck or all sorts of body parts that might spring into action from a shock like that.

dabbler (15401)