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Introducing: The Couch Census. How Many Couches Are There In The Entire World?

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Hello, everyone. I'd like to tell you something about myself that you may not yet know, and I figure this is as good a time as any to say it: I own a couch. Here is a picture of it.


There is no way that this is the only couch in the world. If you asked me to verify the existence of as many couches as possible, I think I could absolutely define at least a couple dozen I am concretely aware of. But how many couches are there in the entire world?

I'm not sure whether you're familiar with the concept of the Fermi Problem, but essentially: it's an exercise of estimation, in which you try to ballpark an amount of something that can't be literally counted in any practical manner. One well-known example of a Fermi problem: "how many piano tuners are there in the city of Chicago?" There are, of course, many things you may want to take into consideration if you try to estimate such a thing.

That might be a fun little game, but I am after the truth, not some clown-shoes estimate. This is where I ask for your help: I want to count every couch in the world. Should you be willing to help the cause, I would love for you to tell me about all the couches you own, or have recently seen. Is there a couch in your living room? In your friend's basement? Anywhere else? Please tell me in the comments. I will tally up the results, and share them each Friday.

Now, ideally I would love for you to take a picture of the couch and post it in the comments, for purposes of verification and to ensure that we haven't counted the same couch twice. But that is not a requirement. If photographing the couch would be impractical, please simply tell me about the couches you saw, and how many you saw.

In terms of definition: within reason, I will trust your judgment. Sure, a sofa is a couch. Sure, that couch in the alley with a red X spray-painted across it is still a couch, if you consider it a couch. My only restriction: please do not report on the existence of more than 10 couches at a time. Do not report sightings of couches in furniture stores. They will find loving owners in good time, and they will hopefully send in reports of their own accord. We must be patient.

So here we go, friend. You and I are going to count every couch in the world, and it starts NOW.


Tell us about your couch in the comments. And, if desired, share a photo. Thank you so very much.

For further adventures in couch-counting, check out our Couch Census section.