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San Diego Comic-Con: By The Numbers

San Diego Comic-Con or SDCC—considered the ultimate meeting of geeks, nerds, and fanboys/girls—has been steadily growing ever since it started 44 years ago. Today, expected turnouts are in the hundreds of thousands. But what would that aggregate of nerdom look like put together? Here’s SDCC by the numbers:

Began: March of 1970

Number of meetings: 46

Years in operation: 44

Estimated SDCC 2014 attendance: 130,000+ people

Estimated SDCC 2014 floor space: 11 acres

Estimated total SDCC attendance since 1970: 1,840,000 people

Large numbers like 1.8 million are hard to conceptualize, so let’s make it a bit more approachable. Based on the average North American’s mass, the total biomass of all the people who have been to a SDCC is 148,550,000 kilograms. That’s still a bit unwieldy. If you’ve ever been to one of these conferences, maybe this comparison will help—here’s the equivalent biomass that has moved through SDCC’s nerdy halls:


Overlap is probably a factor in these numbers—1.8 million people at SDCCs is more like page views with repeat readers than unique visitors. But it’s still enough people to make for some interesting maths. Based on the average US height, 40 years of SDCC attendees could link hands across 1,855 miles (2985 kilometers) and almost stretch from SDCC to NYCC:


San Diego Comic-Con is an undulating sea of humanity. Have hundreds of thousands of people (many in costume) walk around a convention center for hours on end and things will get hot from body heat alone. Humans put out about 100 Watts of energy on average (like a light bulb but with infrared light). With 130,000+ people producing that kind of energy in the convention center for maybe six hours, each day is a tremendous burden on the convention center AC system:


If you’re more data-driven, the plain old attendance numbers are interesting too:

SDCC Graph

But there aren’t nearly as many elephants.

GRAPHICS: Created by Nicole Enriquez

IMAGE: 2056 Throngs by Kevin Baird

Kyle Hill is the Chief Science Officer of the Nerdist enterprise. Follow the Continued geekery on Twitter @Sci_Phile.

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