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The Kid Should See This

How high can you count on your fingers?

How high can you count on your fingers? It seems like a question with an obvious answer. After all, most of us have ten fingers — or to be more precise, eight fingers and two thumbs. This gives us a total of ten digits on our two hands, which we use to count to ten. But is that really as high as we can go?

Spoiler: You can count higher! Research mathematician James Tanton explains in this handy TED Ed video, with animation by Kaitlyn Carroll.

Related listening: Vermont Public Radio’s But Why? podcast for curious kids: What Is The Biggest Number?

More math: Why the metric system matters, The Scientific Way to Cut a Cake, the mathematical secrets of Pascal’s triangle, and One is one…or is it?

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This video was posted 4 years ago.

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