A Straight Dope Classic from Cecil's Storehouse of Human Knowledge

How many square feet of skin are on the human body?

February 4, 1977

Dear Cecil:

How many square feet of flesh are there on the human body? I'm thinking of making a coat out of my sister.

Dear Donald:

You Teeming Millions have obviously been watching too much sex and violence on TV lately. Try curling up with a good book for a change--the World Almanac, for instance. You'd be surprised at how much interesting stuff there is under "Non-Federal Hydroelectric Plants in the U.S."

But back to business. The adult human body, being a notoriously variable commodity, comes factory equipped with an average fourteen to eighteen square feet of skin. Not enough for a coat, alas. I'd suggest either putting Sis to work as a macrame wall hanging or letting her stick around until it's time to redo the kitchen chairs.

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