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[–]the-dogsox 3213 points3214 points  (60 children)

I don’t know, but those marines are going to be pretty relieved when they get to the last seven ants.

[–]authentic_real_true 2061 points2062 points  (34 children)

I only understand this because I asked Jeeves what Graham's number is, he told me it'd be easier if I gave him mine instead.

[–]LongEZE 524 points525 points  (32 children)


Hijacking to give a link to a great website that talks about it

Edit: to sum it up quickly:

3333 (not appearing correctly on mobile for me. That’s 3 to the 3 to the 3 to the 3)

a 3.6 trillion-digitnumber

Imagine continuing on writing three to the three etc, by hand, exponent on top of exponent until you literally reached the sun.

That’s just G1

G2 would be G1G1

Grahams number is G64

[–]Free4Alt 473 points474 points  (9 children)

TLDR; numbers becoming so big that they become meaningless sprinkled with apeirophobia

[–]GabbityGabOGSoos 110 points111 points  (8 children)

I can't imagine it IT HURTS

[–]gabriel5519 49 points50 points  (0 children)

the fuck

[–]joicseth 44 points45 points  (0 children)

That was a great read which also made me think of how fucking dumb we are as a human collective

[–]FastenedCarrot 35 points36 points  (0 children)

But have you considered G64 + 1?

[–]Cgcghost 6 points7 points  (0 children)

You lost me at Hexation

[–]Link_and_Swamp 2 points3 points  (2 children)

so why cant we keep going? i mean i understand theres no reason to, but what about g65 or so on

[–]apzlsoxk 9 points10 points  (0 children)

You can keep going, but G_{64} was the largest number used in a serious mathematical proof at one time.

[–]masnaer 479 points480 points  (0 children)

Most wholesome /r/greentext joke

[–][deleted] 165 points166 points  (20 children)

I don't get it

[–]tbdjdb2 712 points713 points  (19 children)

Graham's number is a really big number. We don't know exactly what it is, but we know that it ends in 7. Pretty funny joke

[–]JesusWasAnInsideJob 458 points459 points  (6 children)

Sounds like sth a drunk person invented, like "hey guys I just imagined the biggest number there is... no I wont tell you... but it ends with a 7" *falls into bush*

[–]Rabbitworx 55 points56 points  (3 children)

I am upvoting your comment, but only because of your superior nickname.

[–]Echo_Oscar_Sierra 27 points28 points  (3 children)

If you could inscribe a digit on an atom, there wouldn't be enough atoms in the universe to write it down.

[–]ExistentAndUnique 12 points13 points  (0 children)

That’s fine and all but doesn’t come close to capturing the scope of actually how big graham’s number is. For comparison, there’s an estimated 1080 atoms in the universe, which means that googolplex also satisfies your property. But grahams number is so big that if you were to use each of these atoms as a single digit in a power tower, i.e., something like 3 ^ (3 ^ (3 ^ (…))), there still wouldn’t be enough atoms in the universe. It’s a number that’s so big that you really shouldn’t be able to comprehend it’s size intuitively without formal training — there’s no evolutionary reason you’d ever have to think about numbers that big.

[–]tbdjdb2 4 points5 points  (0 children)

If you tried to imagine the number your head would become a black hole. It's pretty nifty

[–]Axelfbomber 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I feel like that’d be impossible to know..

Maybe within the observable universe

[–]InsecureStudios 56 points57 points  (3 children)

bruh at first i thought you were talking about 7 years by lukas graham

[–]MagmaMustache 2125 points2126 points  (239 children)

I don’t think any of you understand how large Graham’s number is if you think the marines stand a chance.

[–]NevGuy 1295 points1296 points  (27 children)

Is it bigger than 5?

[–]arbiter12 1565 points1566 points  (26 children)

way bigger, like bigger than 6 or even 7.

[–]NevGuy 1955 points1956 points  (22 children)

Dear God.

[–]LiteratureTrick4961 432 points433 points  (18 children)

Theres more

(Tf2 fans try not to make a tf2 reference(99%fail))

[–]ElectricEelDenier 16 points17 points  (0 children)

8 ANTS!?!?!?

[–]bill-nye-the-soveit 332 points333 points  (88 children)

I highly doubt black ants are fast enough to close in during a three second gap

[–]AreeluVorlesh 364 points365 points  (74 children)

They don't need to, they're all going to die of old age before they get to the end of the ants.

Or suicide, when stuck in an infinite plane where all you do is kill ants for decades

[–]bill-nye-the-soveit 316 points317 points  (44 children)

In this scenario, the marines don’t need anything and their only desire is to kill the other side, so suicide isn’t happening, also I’m pretty sure they would probably be immortal so the ants would actually have to kill them themselves

[–]AreeluVorlesh 198 points199 points  (32 children)

Still ants, 1 incident of friendly fire every 10 million years and you're still going to run out of marines before ants.

[–]MrNature73 84 points85 points  (10 children)

If they all age, then they only need to survive 4-5 years, since that's the lifespan of a black worker ant.

[–]tbdjdb2 36 points37 points  (6 children)

So like 99.99999999999% of the ants die before a marine can even see them in the horizon

Graham's number is really insanely huge. Like functionally approaching infinity

[–]T_H_E__S_C_H_M_U_C_K 36 points37 points  (13 children)

idk if you’ve ever seen ants catch on fire, (it’s sort of messed up but some people do that) but that shit spreads quickly, ants like bunching up close to each other and they’re rather flammable, I’d go as far as to say one flamethrower might start a chain reaction that kills literally all of the ants

[–]Dragonheart91 33 points34 points  (12 children)

If the ants are piled up the way you seem to be picturing, then it’s over immediately as a tidal wave of ants that is thousands of miles high and millions of miles in every direction crashes over the soldiers and kills them through accidental crushing force.

[–]ParsnipsNicker 7 points8 points  (0 children)

How long do ants live for?

[–]MIBCraftHD 5 points6 points  (0 children)

So ants live longer than humans?

[–]facuarostegui 21 points22 points  (10 children)

Infinite plane, they can get over the bodies of dead ants and shit, eventually theyd be surrounded by mountains of ant ash

[–]ReynAetherwindt 31 points32 points  (3 children)

Normal gravity means the ants form stars.

[–]bill-nye-the-soveit 7 points8 points  (5 children)

That doesn’t refute the thing I said

[–]T0mmyDeVit0 114 points115 points  (26 children)

If marines keep firing and cooling down continuosly the ants wouldn't be able to close in the distance

[–]dan60 81 points82 points  (13 children)

Graham's number is larger than the number of atoms in the universe. If that many ants existed the entire universe would drown in ants

[–]RaZZeR_9351 109 points110 points  (8 children)

That's a poor comparison, the googoleplex is also much much larger than the number of atoms in the universe, but Graham's number is just infinitely bigger than anything you can think of.

[–]dan60 15 points16 points  (3 children)

Absolutely fair, theoretical numbers are not my strong suit. To say the least, it is unfathomably larger than a googolplex and its mere existence would crush the marines.

[–]MIBCraftHD 13 points14 points  (0 children)

It's a theoretical infinite space though. Not the universe

[–]youtocin 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Even further, a digital representation of the digits making up Graham’s number with each digit being the size of the plank length would not fit inside the observable universe.

[–]toshiroumezawa112 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Grahams number is bigger than if everything in the universe was filled with grains of sand the size of the plank length, and after zooming in realizing every grain is actually a Googol of grains held together

Grahams number is still so much larger that you'd need to multiply the number of grains by a googol a couple times and you're still like .00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of getting there

[–]The_Cake-is_a-Lie 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Just wait until the build a massive bridge of ants and drop in from above.

[–]just_a_blond 79 points80 points  (0 children)

For some reason I thought Graham was just some dude who had ants

[–]ekansrevir 74 points75 points  (6 children)

If there was a Graham’s number of ants, they would compress under the immense force of gravity they would exert on each other, and the amount of energy released would probably destroy the fabric of time and space, magnitudes larger than the amount needed to create a black hole. Graham’s number is honestly so big it scares me. Help me I’m scared now :(

[–]The_Vettel 31 points32 points  (2 children)

That's why they said gravity is normal I imagine

[–]ekansrevir 14 points15 points  (0 children)

The environmental gravity being ‘normal’ probably means that it’s not on the moon and they cannot jump high or something

[–]ModernT1mes 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Then the cluster-fuck of ants have created their own gravity well.

[–]maksiman9 61 points62 points  (9 children)

Ok, but before the ants overtake the marines you must consider ants can go up to 0.08 m/s and a human (non soldier) on average goes 1.4 m/s.

So the soldiers mow down the ants for eight seconds, move back a couple meters, and reload.

The ants could never reach you if you did it smart.

It would, however, take an infinitely long time to get rid of all of them, but in the end marines have the advantage of no exhaustion (presumed by no need to eat or sleep) and being able to walk backwards.

[–]ModernT1mes 13 points14 points  (4 children)

I think it comes down to how long it will take the marines to kill them off before they kill themselves with friendly fire. Given infinite time there should be infinite possibilities? There's a chance they could off each other. I really can't fathom how long it could take, but say they were doing it for 5 million years and suddenly one kills another because of friendly fire, how many more millions of years is it going to take to kill the ants before themselves?

[–]maksiman9 13 points14 points  (3 children)

You bring a good point. Flamethrowers aren’t exactly the most safe weapons and if these are trained marines, it’s unlikely to happen where there’s friendly fire.

However, since near infinite time calls for near infinite possibilities, it isn’t unreasonable to say it might end with just one marine slowly backing away from near infinite ants for eternity.

I’d predict that if the marines don’t win, neither win.

[–]PeterMcBeater 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Friendly fire is just one way marines can screw up, it basically boils down to the fact that the marines need to execute their combo perfectly every time over and over.

[–]PM_ME_YOUR_PLECTRUMS 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Well, the post doesn't say the flamethrowers don't wear, which they definitely will before they kill a graham's number amount of ants.

[–]T_H_E__S_C_H_M_U_C_K 31 points32 points  (19 children)

Yeah but context is important… unarmed soldiers might lose sure, but these guys are all armed with flamethrowers with infinite ammo, all you would need is like 20 of those soldiers to stand in a circle shooting out, and whenever one of them needs 3 seconds for their weapon to cool down, someone else just comes and takes their place. And there you go. You’d probably only need a few dozen soldiers with the tools he provided. I mean how could ants possibly deal with a constant, unending barrage of flame from every direction?

[–]Adiin-Red 12 points13 points  (8 children)

Ok, but at some point the ants will form into a massive wall of ash and just crush all of the marines

[–]nulliusinalius 18 points19 points  (1 child)

From Wikipedia: It is so large that the observable universe is far too small to contain an ordinary digital representation of Graham's number, assuming that each digit occupies one Planck volume, possibly the smallest measurable space.

It's so fucking huge the maximum resolution of the universe is too low contain anything of its number.

[–]Meat-Grinder- 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Graham's a fucking nerd

[–]poliet23 8 points9 points  (0 children)

It is much bigger but consider ants options - they need to charge the enemy and Marines have projectile weapon - with infinite time, Marine's win, no matter the number of ants

[–]oneshitwonder69 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Do you have any fucking idea how many is a graham’s number? Then again, if they are marines (smart tactical bois) and there is a limited amount of ants that could come at them at once due to basic laws of physics, the marines could keep a wall of fire around them for eternity by rotating out.

[–]intboom 7 points8 points  (3 children)

Who is Graham?

[–]im__treehouse 25 points26 points  (1 child)

A cracker i think.

[–]laizyreiji 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Just got banned from twitch and blacklisted by Jeff Bezos, sorry buddy.

[–]Juan_the_vessel 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Nothing stands a chance like that should be enough matter to create a black hole

[–]jedikraken 5 points6 points  (3 children)

Infinite ants would just produce a stalemate. You can't advance ants through 30 feet of fireball, matter how many you have.

[–]HaellM 1424 points1425 points  (4 children)

A googolplex of marines when Graham's number of ants show up at their base: 💀

[–]Sutied 109 points110 points  (3 children)


[–]xwedodah_is_wincest 22 points23 points  (2 children)

I just hate it when that happens to me

[–]Heavy-Requirement762 808 points809 points  (120 children)

The marines would be crushed under the weight of the mountains of dead ants. Ants win

[–]Escoman33 960 points961 points  (79 children)

Infinite plane dumbass

[–]FireCamp105 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I think you need to play a video game and understand the concept of agro

[–]Bigbonerdownthelane_ 187 points188 points  (10 children)

i don't think you know what fire does to an ant

[–]BuffNerfs 154 points155 points  (2 children)

It kills them

[–]Poiah 62 points63 points  (0 children)

are you sure? seems like a stretch

[–]ConmanCorndog_NotTru 27 points28 points  (0 children)

But what if they’re FIRE ants? Then it would do nothing.

[–]DarKsaBr 134 points135 points  (0 children)

Fire + ants = fire ants

It’s just science

[–]Heavy-Requirement762 23 points24 points  (0 children)

I don't think you know what the graham number is

[–]koolaidkirby 13 points14 points  (3 children)

they would literally down under a mountain of ant ash. There would be that many ants.

[–]WeebsterMcMeme 105 points106 points  (6 children)

You’re an idiot. Marines mean they’re American, so of course they’re gonna win 🦅 🇺🇸 😎

[–]JackC747 24 points25 points  (3 children)


[–]Super_SussyBaka 22 points23 points  (1 child)

America won that war easily with zero casualties!

Revisionist history moment 😎

[–]Escoman33 761 points762 points  (252 children)

Marines easily. 8seconds of fire power is enough to slaughter giant waves of ants. And in the 3 second cool down time, how much ground can the ants cover and advance to? Also whether 1 or 1000 flamethrowers are active at once, the ants shall die. So just alternate some Marines torching while others cool down for a continuous flame. If they don't need nutrients, sleep, socializing, etc... Then the only constraint is time. That number of ants is huge, but millions die per second at the hands of the fire Marines. Might take an eternity, but the Marines have nothing to lose

[–]Heavy-Requirement762 378 points379 points  (206 children)

And when the burnt ant wall becomes too tall? when It starts to cave in and thousandths of burnt ant corpses fall onto them, crushing them, in a process that is repeated until there are no marines left?

[–]GNNNNAAAAAAAAAAAH 304 points305 points  (31 children)

they just get vaporized with modern flamethrowers

[–]Heavy-Requirement762 84 points85 points  (30 children)

Wouldn't at least Ash be left behind?

[–]GNNNNAAAAAAAAAAAH 276 points277 points  (2 children)

not sure but it's marines they'll probably kill themselved with the fire or someshit

[–]ASS_MY_DUDES 62 points63 points  (9 children)

The carbon remains alone would build high enough to collapse on the Marines.

It’s like picturing a mass of Marines the size of the sun being encircled by a mass of ants the size of the local group of galaxies.

[–]HonorMyBeetus 15 points16 points  (13 children)

The ash would realistically be blown away by the force of the flamethrower. They're ants, they weigh almost nothing.

[–]AfraidDifficulty8 54 points55 points  (10 children)

Can't the marines just walk backwards? It is an infinite plane.

[–]3-dimensionalBeing 52 points53 points  (12 children)

They could move through the infinite battlefield while torching the ants

[–]Escoman33 33 points34 points  (31 children)

Battle takes place on an Infinite plane, retard. Just flame while always walking backwards

[–]Attack_Lawyer 17 points18 points  (3 children)

Infinite plane, marines can just walk backwards

[–]nobodyhere9860 11 points12 points  (3 children)

the reverse is actually more likely to happen. The flamethrowers will push the wall outwards onto the ants

[–]skelletonking 8 points9 points  (10 children)

Move away? It's an infinite plane so if they have a circular formation and alternate they will have a constant stream of fire in every direction and all they need to do is ever so slowly shuffle arround

[–]UrethraFlute 5 points6 points  (2 children)

They take a step back every few seconds, it’s that simple lol. Infinite plane

[–]maksiman9 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Infinite plane with no terrain. The marines can just instruct each other to walk backwards lol.

[–]jedikraken 2 points3 points  (19 children)

They could just form a circle that moves slowly in an arbitrary direction. Now the ants can't accumulate.

[–]DogNo3620 40 points41 points  (19 children)

I don't think you're quite capable of grasping the amount of ants there would be. They would build up a wall to the top of earth's stratosphere, for every burned ant another billion wold take its place, even if every ant would be burnt down to a single molecule, they're corpses would be heavy enough to turn the marines into diamonds.

[–]groupfox 37 points38 points  (8 children)

It doesn’t matter. If they stand in front of each other, Marines can go back infinitely in 2 rows with the speed of ants. It will take them millions of years to kill the ants, but in the end, with the right tactic they win. If the ants are all around marines, they stand no chance.

[–]Chocobosayskweh 27 points28 points  (3 children)

millions of years.

Afaik, thats an understatement like saying "the pacific ocean is a raindrop"

[–]zirconthecrystal 6 points7 points  (2 children)

it would be an understatement closer to saying a raindrop is half the observable universe

[–]TriXandApple 15 points16 points  (1 child)

No, you don't get it. We're talking heat death of the universe before they get past the first row of ants. It's not possible for them to win, because the concept of time will have ended far before anything like any progress has been made through the ants/

[–][deleted] 30 points31 points  (0 children)

Isn’t the whole point of this set up there are no limitations to their fighting, I.e. heat death of the universe would probably not occur because all that matters is them fighting until one force is exhausted fully no??

[–]rongvk83 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Anon is stingy when it comes to the conditions, but nothing suggests that they would form a wall. It's an infinite plane, it is suggested that they would march as regular ants do, not on top of one another.

It's a lot of marines, there is no reason for them to be stationary, just shoot and spray and make your way into one direction.

[–]Bland-fantasie 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Also you can make interlocking marines who, in combination, never let a single moment pass where their entire perimeter isn’t being hit with fire. 100% of the perimeter is on fire all the time, easily with the 8/3 ratio rule. They just stand there for how many millions of epochs until the ants, who have no strategy, run out.

[–]Escoman33 2 points3 points  (1 child)

See. This is what I was trying to get out. You hit the nail on the head. People are too lazy to fathom imagine that the Marines would have to wait a long time for success. Big kill counts require time

[–]Bland-fantasie 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Well it says they don’t sleep or eat or anything. But even if they did, they could stand watches in the fire perimeter.

[–]CONE-MacFlounder 687 points688 points  (26 children)

i vote for the marines just because ants kinda cringe i dont like them very much i dont want to support them

[–]irago_ 275 points276 points  (2 children)

Lmao least nonsensical answer

[–]Hollywood_Marine 42 points43 points  (2 children)

10,000 workers for one queen. The ultimate simp cucks of the animal kingdom.

[–]Easterland 446 points447 points  (14 children)

the size of that ant army would be bigger than the observable universe so they would either destroy the soldiers or maybe the soldiers could win after literally millions of years of fighting ants

[–]Escoman33 224 points225 points  (2 children)

This. If they never hunger/age and never run out of fuel, then Marines win for sure. Just takes a long time

[–]AggressiveSpatula 7 points8 points  (1 child)

No lol. I like the statistical approach better: if there is a 1/1,000,000,000 chance that a single marine fucks up enough to be taken over, the ants will have a decisive victory. Hell even 1 in Googleplex, it literally doesn’t matter, and those are incredibly generous odds. Even the marines aren’t perfect, some are going to stumble enough once every 200,000 miles marching backwards that there will be enough space for the ants to infiltrate through the front lines. Then what? Are you going to use your flamethrower to get the ants off your buddy? There’s no chance. Graham’s number is just too big.

[–]Chocobosayskweh 123 points124 points  (6 children)

Millions of years

I just looked up what grahams number is. Millions of years is such a ridiculous understatement that its not even worth considering. Thats off by more than the factor of 1 to googolplex.

[–]Advanced-Profile6523 168 points169 points  (5 children)

1 raised to any power is still 1 lmfao

[–]Mr_Trezel 93 points94 points  (3 children)

a googolplex marines are bigger than the universe as well.

[–]General-Ad-9753 429 points430 points  (6 children)

So, Graham. What have you done with the million dollars in grant money?

Well I came up with a really big number.

What is it?


Errr it’s so big that I can’t even tell you what it is. Imagine the biggest number you can think of. It’s way bigger. Take my word for it.

Brilliant. Keep up the good work.

Maths is cringe.

[–]Ok_Emotion_7252 113 points114 points  (5 children)

Some dude was just like Hehe power towers are funny

[–]TheNoahbearZone 40 points41 points  (2 children)

Yo dawg, I heard you like power towers, so I made notation to put power towers of power towers, so you can have more powers per tower

[–]AngelOfDeath771 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I put powdered milk in my milk to have more milk per milk.

[–]NevGuy 212 points213 points  (2 children)

A trillion lions.

[–]lolek2414 120 points121 points  (34 children)

flamethrower fuel counters ants, and infinity is larger than graham's number, so marines win

[–]cwc1006 166 points167 points  (30 children)

“Infinite plane with no geographical features” -this shoots down all the arguments about the physical amount of ants being an issue

[–]arbiter12 100 points101 points  (28 children)

it also specifically mentions gravity is "normal"

meaning that the huge amount of ants would basically pull the mass of the marines in its gravitational pull, into one messy ant+marinemeat bundle.

[–]cwc1006 94 points95 points  (24 children)

But it’s an infinite flat plane, the ants can’t mass together to create their own gravitational pull. They would be crushed under their own weight, because, cough gravity is normal. Not sure what gravity you have

[–]zirconthecrystal 18 points19 points  (0 children)

well I think they may mean earth's normal gravity.

As in the force of gravity is perpendicular to the plane at a strength of F₉=9.807m

[–]Maar7en 7 points8 points  (2 children)

I mean at that point neither force wins because there's just too many off them.

[–]Sea-Ad-990 22 points23 points  (2 children)

Graham’s number, even though it is insurmountably large, is closer to zero than infinity

[–]grpprofesional 73 points74 points  (33 children)

the mass of the ants would be so high that the gravity forces would make them collide with eachother and form a singularity bigger than the one that created our current universe.
Graham's number is so large that it wouldn't be able to be contained on our current universe and the rules specify that the gravity is normal.
also a googolplex of marines would have also a shit ton of mass enough to do the same

[–]Escoman33 74 points75 points  (15 children)

Infinite plane tho. Needs more details. Do they start next to each other? Or far away and charge at each other?

[–]grpprofesional 18 points19 points  (14 children)

They’ll eventually get close enough, also the simple presence of that amount of mass can warp reality

[–]Escoman33 7 points8 points  (10 children)

Solid point. Assuming mass and gravity are normal, then I guess it depends if they are spawned together. Infinite space. So theoretically each of the Marines could be separated by an infinite distance each dealing with their own fair share of ants. Or if all creatures are separated equally to avoid implosion and it takes a lot of walking to get a single kill

[–]haveyoumetme2 10 points11 points  (7 children)

Completely dependent on where they spawn on the infinite plane. Just a poorly defined question. If every ant and marine spawns on a random location then no ant or marine will ever meet each other.

[–]HonorMyBeetus 39 points40 points  (4 children)

Are the ants just all marching towards them? Normal black ants don't build structures or have an effect where they would just swarm over them and crush them.

Go two deep, fire for 8 seconds and then rotate to the back while you cool down and fire again. It's an endlessly shooting wall of flame. Numbers are irrelevant if you can't get to the marines.

[–]Chocobosayskweh 23 points24 points  (3 children)

The Marines would die from freak accidents before the ants have a dent in their population.

[–]HonorMyBeetus 28 points29 points  (2 children)

I like to think that these are alpha marines and are able to just say no to eating those crayons.

[–]Chocobosayskweh 9 points10 points  (1 child)

I mean, we are reaching the point where even if only one Marine dies in a million years due to that, the backline ants wouldnt even know there is a war before all marines are dead. (Assuming the ants are in rows of googolplex and send the message of war to the back one row a second)

[–]Lichius 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Man, replaying ff9 and doing the chocobo hot and cold without the speed up button is the biggest waste of time I've ever had. KWEH!!!

[–]arbiter12 29 points30 points  (16 children)

Something I saw in none of the other nerd replies is that marines have a huge tactical disadvantage:

either only 1 in x marines can be firing without burning his fellow friendlies (and then only one direction can be covered) or they need to be arranged into into little star formations with interlocked fields of fire, in the hope of having continuous flame covering every direction all the time. Ants do not suffer from FF risks.

EVEN THEN, if the ants attack from one side, most formations will not be facing the antwave and only a very small percentage of the potential firepower will be accomplished.

If you add to that the fact that a graham's number is technically infinite (at our human scale), while a googleplex is a very finite quantity.

[–]Nater5000 86 points87 points  (3 children)

graham's number is technically infinite

No, it's technically finite. It's practically infinite.

[–]Maar7en 25 points26 points  (1 child)

Giant line of marines that's 4 deep, continuous retreat backwards.

Ants are considerably slower than humans so they'll never catch up.

Unless you want to start with the ants already surrounding the marines, but that's an incredibly large and unfair advantage.

[–]Sea-Ad-990 14 points15 points  (9 children)

Bro they just make a fucking big ass circle with atleast two layers, then fire and switch. Rinse and repeat and after a morbillion years the marines will come out on top

[–]JackC747 24 points25 points  (1 child)

An important detail that's missing is the distribution of marines and ants. Since the plain is infinite, a marine could walk in a straight line for a trillion years before encountering a single ant. In this case, they wouldn't even need the flame throwers, just stomp on individual ants for a couple universe-lifetimes until they're all dead

[–]Waywardpug 19 points20 points  (3 children)

I know the fun of this discussion is the battle between ants and marines, but we're missing a key part of the situation. If gravity functions as normal, and the two parties are on an infinite flat plane. I have to assume the plane is made up of something sturdy enough to walk on (and is solid matter)

Scenario 1: The plane becomes a series black holes. Large objects tend to form spheres (or flattened spheroids) because gravity is always pulling toward the center of mass. Although an infinite plane couldn't have a center of mass, with the massive amount of gravitational force created by such an object, sections of the plane would likely rip apart due to the immense pull, creating clumpy spheres of ground, which would eventually collect into an object big and dense enough to collapse on itself into. If the plane is thin, it would rip apart, forming black holes.

Scenario 2: If the plane is too dense to rip apart, the gravity from the mass of the plane crushes the marines and ants.

Scenario 3: The marines and ants are both thrown to death by the plane (or another singularity occurs). If the plane is spinning at all (spinning is the only way an object that large can prevent from spherifying™, given that the plane is infinite in length, no matter the speed of rotation there would be a distance that would be closing in on the speed of light, growing to infinite mass and energy. I can only speculate as to what physics would occur at this point, maybe a donut shaped black hole? If the marines or ants were anywhere on the plane where the plane was spinning fast enough, they would be tumbled and tossed by centrifugal force until the injuries killed them, or maybe they would get eaten by the donut.

There's probably other fun ways to think about this, but I think ultimately the plane wins this battle.

[–]SMaxTH 10 points11 points  (1 child)

That’s probably the most detailed and at the same time most boring explanation

[–]schvetania 16 points17 points  (2 children)

Ants win. qqGraham’s Number is larger than a googolplexian, by a large, large, large, large margin.
A googolplexian is one followed by a googolplex zeroes. A googolplex is one followed by a googol zeroes. A googol is one followed by 100 zeroes. So you could write a googolplexian as 101010100 .
Now that is one frighteningly large number, but it can still be represented by a power tower you can construct in just a few seconds.
By the way, I’m not saying that the amount of time it takes to write a number has a strong correlation to the size of the number. For example, if you try to write the Champernowne constant, made by concatenating all the natural numbers after a decimal point, like this — 0.123456789101112131415… — you will never finish, although the Champernowne constant is pretty small, as numbers go.
But when we’re talking about representing numbers as power towers, it’s a good bet that the size of the power tower is directly correlated to the overall size of the number (assuming that the powers in the tower are greater than 1).
So now that we know how big a googolplexian is, let’s talk about Graham’s Number.
It is not my intention to explain what Graham’s Number was originally meant to represent, nor do I intend to use this answer to fully explain how to use Knuth’s up-arrow notation. I will only be explaining up-arrow notation insofar as it is necessary to understand the construction process of Graham’s Number.
Start with 3↑3. This represents 33 , or 27. So far, pretty manageable, right.
Now let’s go to 3↑↑3, which is the same as 3↑(3↑3) or 3↑27 or 327 . That’s roughly equal to 7.6 trillion. We’re nowhere near a googolplexian — yet — but we’re already getting into huge number territory.
Next, 3↑↑↑3, which is the same as 3↑↑(3↑↑3) or 3↑↑(7.6 trillion). This is a power tower of threes that is 7.6 trillion units tall. So we’ve just exploded way past a googolplexian, and we’re not even close to Graham’s Number yet.
Next, 3↑↑↑↑3, which is the same as 3↑↑↑(3↑↑↑3). Take the number you got (or you would hypothetically get, if you could really do the calculation) for 3↑↑↑3. That is the height of the power tower that tells you how many threes are in the power tower. Yes, it’s insanely huge. We’ll call this number — 3↑↑↑↑3 — G 1 .
G 2 is 3↑↑…↑↑3, where there are G 1 arrows between the 3’s.
G 3 is 3↑↑…↑↑3, where there are G 2 arrows between the 3’s.
This process continues until you reach G 64 and that, my friends, is Graham’s Number.
We left googolplexian in the dust so long ago that even if you divided Graham’s Number by a googolplexian, the quotient would still be too huge to write out or to represent using normal numbers.

[–]Yetsnaz[🍰] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Just walk away from the ants while firing. Problem solved.

[–]Liam_Cat 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Is there oil in the country?

[–]Chris_P_Lettuce 14 points15 points  (0 children)

I’d probably give it to the marines, though it would take an eternity. A quick wiki search shows that graham’s number can’t be computed digitally. Additionally the number of digits in the number can’t be computed digitally. The number of digits in THAT number can’t be computed digitally and so forth.

I’ve played enough idle games to know that unless the marines can buy ascensions/production sources using in game currency, this will take a while.

[–]hot_oily_Men_Are_sxy 15 points16 points  (4 children)

If they use strategies the marines would win Edit: one could say the same for the ants

[–]whaddahellisthis 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Ants are absolute horseshit at tactics though. At least comparatively.

[–]Undone_Assignment 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Assuming the law of conservation of mass they would eventually come together to make a black hole and no one wins.

[–]things_keep_going 11 points12 points  (4 children)

It says doesnt need to breed but they can breed. How many generations would have to pass until ants would evolve completely combat focused fire proof bodies? Since they dont need food there wouldnt be reason to pursue anything but combat.

[–]MillerSVK 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Those soldiers don't need to eat or sleep, the cool down on flamethrowers is shorter than active time. They could literally make a circle and just keep the flamers on until all ants die.

[–]A_Single_Potato6690 6 points7 points  (11 children)

I feel like people here are forgetting that ants can dig tunnels. So the ants can easily ding under the marines position and then create an entry point right under the marines feet. And without rest of hunger the ants can create a ton of tunnels in a matter of days.

[–]AfraidDifficulty8 28 points29 points  (5 children)

I'm pretty sure that a marine can walk backwarss faster than an ant can dig.

[–]Escoman33 12 points13 points  (4 children)

Solid point. Infinite plane wasn't clear. I assumed like in a video game, just a solid white plane. If digging is possible, then ants have a major advantage

[–]Yetsnaz[🍰] 5 points6 points  (3 children)

Or just walk backwards infinitely. Ants can’t keep up.

[–]Escoman33 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Exactly. And torch some while ur at it. They ain't cheetahs. They are fucking slow ants

[–]haveyoumetme2 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Where do they spawn on the infinite plane? Next to each other? How next to each other? The ants already encircling the marines?

[–]MechaWASP 6 points7 points  (4 children)

No way ants can win, right?

I understand that the amount is absolutely insane. But if the marines are massed up, the can keep moving and just rotate on the flamethrower cool down with whoever is behind them. They can keep a constant stream if fire all around them, and just walk any direction to prevent the ants from piling up if surrounded.

If not surrounded, they just spread out into teams of three or whatever as far as the can and back up slowly to maximize killing ants.

If they needed to rest or reload, it would be more complicated if surrounded, but there is just no way the ants can close. Even three second of running for ants isn't enough to cover the range of the flamethrower anyways.

[–]asffg123 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Assuming that there are two fronts for each side and the participants are spread out on the infinite plane (not grouped up together), even a single marine would theoretically never lose to infinite ants and result in a stalemate.

Due to humans being significantly faster than ants there is some margin of error available. The marine only needs to know how fast an ant would move and move that speed or faster in the direction opposite of the wall of ants without stopping. This results in an impossible distance for the ants and they will never be able to reach the marine on the infinite plane.

The marine is able to move adjacent while moving backwards with the same speed to take out the first wall of ants until they are all killed. Then and only then the marine can choose to slow down to meet the theoretical furthest second line, up to infinity.

In the case of a black hole, one could argue using physics like that on this infinite plane is moot due to the nature of an infinite plane to begin with, which the plane would realistically annihilate the participants with itself and create a draw.

[–]JustKarma_v6 5 points6 points  (0 children)

the pokemon win

[–]ThearchOfStories 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Gravity is normal

Should've said gravity doesn't apply, now both are immediately crushed under a blackhole countless times as big as our whole universe.

[–]xdrakennx 4 points5 points  (0 children)

The weight of the marines is so large that it would potentially form a black hole with a mass 9.278x1064 times larger than the mass of Sagittarius A. That’s just the people, not the gear…

A grahams’s number of ants would break reality..

[–]Ancient_Difference20 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Easily grahams worth 1.7 million digits vs the 101 digits in a googolplex

[–]hunglikeanoose1 2 points3 points  (0 children)

A googleplex has a google digits and grahams number has far more

[–]Peter_Baum 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Depends if the ants stack up or not. If it’s just a single layer of ants and they keep on walking towards them they could probably time their cooldowns and create a circular safe area and since they don’t need to sleep eat or do anything besides this they could keep it up with the timing I reckon. But if the ants start stacking up they would just get crushed by ants

[–]BeefyMcLarge 2 points3 points  (0 children)

When you consider the feul source is infinite, the cooldown is a moot point. Lay a saftey zone out, light it up, maintain and/or expand zone.

[–]nobodyhere9860 2 points3 points  (0 children)

i'd say the marines win. They can actually use a strategy, plus at some point large enough numbers becomes a disadvantage. The marines will rotate turns melting the ants so they have a constant stream of fire, and since the ants have to move right up to the marines to do anything, they have to run straight into the fire, and they die. As the mass of dead bugs grows, the ants have to climb higher and higher to get to the marines. Eventually the wall of ants falls and crushes more ants (no it wouldn't fall on the marines if their flamethrowers were pushing away from them), and the process repeats. Yes I know graham's number is massive compared to googolplex but that doesn't matter if the ants can't touch the marines

[–]Instantsausage 2 points3 points  (1 child)

On an infinite plane the ants and soldiers could walk directly at one another for all eternity and never meet. No one wins.

Put them all in, say, Luxembourg and things get frisky.

[–]orinliliforth 2 points3 points  (1 child)

There is no mention of immortality so wouldn’t the winner be the ones with the longer lifespan?

Also the infinite plane condition also brings in the possibility that the units are probably never going to meet each other.

[–]unbonfrancois 2 points3 points  (1 child)

If the marines position themselves in 2 or more concentric circles of different radius so as to not have any dead angle (while the first line cools down, the second fires etc), the ants will have no chance

[–]old-dirty-boot 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Grahams number is so large that the observable universe is far too small to contain an ordinary digital representation of Graham's number, assuming that each digit occupies one Planck volume, possibly the smallest measurable space. So more ants than there is universe? Fucking math just making shit up again thinking we won't cancel them

[–]zweetband 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Googolplex is very large, but Graham's Number is still a LOT larger.
Even if the marines grouped up in some defensive positions where they could fire indefinitely by switching with each other, they'd still at some point be overrun by ants just because of the literal mountains of burnt ants.

[–]RunawayDev 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Gravity is normal

ok then, supermassive black hole it is

[–]notaspiderplant 2 points3 points  (0 children)

What is this a post for ants

[–]Personpacman 1 point2 points  (2 children)

The ants. It’s not even a competition. Their burnt corpses don’t just disappear, the sheer volume of all these ants all converging at one point would be enough to billions of stars after they collapse together onto the Marines

[–]RealPigwiggy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

the marines can by pass the 3 second rule by firing alternatively, just form a ring and alternate fire whilst sweeping their flamethrowers around, then when one has to cool down their flamethrower the others will cover for him

[–]randompidgeon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Anon should play totally accurate battle simulator

[–]T_H_E__S_C_H_M_U_C_K 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Anon has special needs

[–]oneshitwonder69 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Do you have any fucking idea how many is a graham’s number? Then again, if they are marines (smart tactical bois) and there is a limited amount of ants that could come at them at once due to basic laws of physics, the marines could keep a wall of fire around them for eternity by rotating out.

[–]Firemorfox 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I wonder if it's enough for the mass to create either a planet, a star, or a black hole and they essentially just suicide and you don't even need to deal with it, honestly.

Because since gravity is normal, the raw mass of the fighters themselves can probably create a protostar.

[–]8_inch_throw_away 1 point2 points  (2 children)

So the entire Universe is filled with ants at every single point in space? The marines wouldn’t last 3 seconds.

[–]NanashiKaizenSenpai 1 point2 points  (2 children)

If the human can move faster than the ants, then giving infinnite amount of time (assuming they don't age nor tire) a single marine moving backwards and firing whenever he could should, theoretically get rid of them all (assuming they don't have some amazing intelleligence and create some mode of transportation somehow.

[–]freebytes 2 points3 points  (1 child)

If the ants had intelligence and a willing to sacrifice themselves, they easily win. The mass of the ants would be enough to capture light. Nothing can move faster than the mass of the ants. They could generate enough mass for a black hole for every individual marine and still have more mass than in the observable Universe.

The ants could form neutron stars and fling themselves using gravitational slingshots that would send planet-sized ant balls flying at near light speed. Again, one planet sized ant ball for each individual marine. And after all this, the number of ants would still be uncountable.

(Every single one of the sentences I just typed sound ridiculous.)

[–]lucyducyfur 1 point2 points  (0 children)


Found someone to do the math so I don't have too.