Angel of Mohammed

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Angel of Mohammed

Postby gladiolas » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:39 pm UTC

I wonder if Randall or somebody else would be willing to try this?

In medieval legend, the Prophet Mohammed is said to have seen an angel, known only as The Angel of Mohammed.

This angel had:
Running Total
70,000 heads 70,000 heads
Each head had 70,000 faces 4.9 billion faces
Each face had 70,000 mouths 3.43 e14 mouths
Each mouth had 70,000 tongues 2.401 e19 tongues
Each tongue sang the praises of
Allah in 70,000 languages. 1.6807 e24 languages

Has anybody tried to draw a picture of this? I know, it would be difficult to portray 2.401 e19 tongues, but still...
If each face were drawn 1 millimeter long, the picture could be something like 70 meters across. I don't care, I wanted to make this suggestion, anyway.

(Also, how many phonemes would be needed to create that many distinct languages? Which angel is in charge of creating languages for this angel to sing in?)


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Dr. Diaphanous
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Re: Angel of Mohammed

Postby Dr. Diaphanous » Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:03 pm UTC

Let's arrange the heads into a sphere, with all the heads on the surface. Like the flowers of an onion plant.
The surface area of a sphere is 4πr2. So if the area is 70 000 heads, the head-cluster forms a sphere with a diameter equal to the length of 149 heads: assuming human-ish heads that's about 37 metres across. The number of heads around the "equator" is 468.

Same story with the faces: each head has faces spread around the surface, with 468 faces around (Ignoring the area for the neck, and other non-face features). For a human size head (25 cm diameter sphere) you need to fit 36 faces per cm2, i.e. each face fits in a 1.7 mm square.

The mouths can't be arranged on the surface of a sphere so let's model them as a circle of mouths. The area inside a circle is πr2, and r is 1.7mm/2. Each face must be 299 mouths across- giving each mouth 5.7 µm of space.

Now do the same with the tongues: imagine a circle of tongues sticking out of each mouth: Like cilia protruding from a cell (incidentally the scale bar here is correct - although there are faw fewer than 70 000 cilia per cell)).
The area inside a circle is πr2, and r is 5.7 µm/2. Each mouth must be 299 tongues across- giving each tongue 19 nm of space. Let's say the tongue's width is 5 nm so it has some room to manoeuvre to pronounce all these languages. A carbon nanotube is about 1 nm in diameter, so let's make each tongue out of a cluster of nanotubes.

As for the languages, I think that would be trivial. Take the 28 letters of Arabic and rearrange them like a substitution cipher, so For one variant, for example, all instance of ـت are replaced with ـا (and ـت is used to replace another letter). The number of variants that can be produced this way is 28! (28 x 27 x 26 ... x 2 x 1) which equals 3 x 10 29.
"God works in mysterious and breathtakingly cruel ways."

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Re: Angel of Mohammed

Postby gladiolas » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:18 pm UTC

Thanks for answering! That's a great answer! :D

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Re: Angel of Mohammed

Postby brenok » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:47 pm UTC

I don't know if I am misinterpreting this because of lack of context, but you didn't say languages needed to be distinct. So, the total number of languages would be "only" 70000

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