# "How Strong Is a Hobbit?" -- A Physicist Looks at The Hobbit

Scientists see the world very differently than non-scientists do. While you and I may read or watch The Lord of the Rings and think of it as a compelling work of fantasy, Rhett Alain, a college physics instructor, sees physical quandaries to resolve. For example, relative to a human, how strong is a hobbit? Alain offers a math-heavy explanation incomprehensible to me before concluding:

If a hobbit is 72% the height of a human, he would just have 52% the strength. Let’s say a normal adult human male can bench press 150 pounds (just making this up people). That would mean the hobbit could bench press 78 pounds.

Having answered that question, Alain then ponders the maximum mass of Smaug based on his estimated wingspan.

Link | Image: New Line Cinema

By that logic, a chimpanzee should be one third as strong as a human. Studies have shown them to be two to five times stronger.
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