[28.Apr.2020] Money Heist unmasked by Mathcad

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With a bit more free time on our hands, people are actively binge-watching movies and TV series. So did we, and stumbled across some mathematical goofs in the extremely popular Spanish TV series Money Heist (original Casa de Papel). Let’s put Mathcad to work and uncover these on screen mistakes together.

In the third season, there is a gold vault that floods. Have you questioned the amount of gold you see in the episode?

In the series, they claim that there are 94 tons of gold in the vault. But does it really look like 94 tons? We used Mathcad to calculate it.

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Vault flooding scene from the show. Source: Netflix

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Gold is very dense, so 94 tons is a volume of 4870 litres and could actually fit in a cube with edge lengths of less than 1,7 meters. Conclusion - there is definitely much more gold than they claim!

And what about the bars themselves? How realistic do they look? Well on first glance, very, but let’s put Mathcad to work and see how much the gold bars weigh, and can they really be tossed around as easily as they are in the show?

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Nairobi playing with the gold bars like they weigh nothing. Source: Youtube

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Well, it appears that the mass of one gold bar is slightly over 11 kg which equals about 18 basketballs or almost two average size bowling balls. Let's be honest, it is not very realistic that they are playing around with the bars of 11,34 kg like they weigh nothing. In reality, they didn’t weigh much, as they were made out of foam.

Actually, the production set had real difficulties as they were filming the scenes with the foam gold bars as they kept getting damaged while being submerged under water and simply shrunk. To fix this issue they had to use computer touch up on each gold bar to make them look more realistic.

Last but not least, we were curious to find out what the monetary value of the 94 t gold is in different currencies. This is also an easy task for Mathcad.

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That’s quite the sum and might take a long time to spend if the heist is successful.

Even though some parts are unrealistic if you dive into it, the series has become a worldwide phenomenon. You can watch it on Netflix, and don’t forget to put Mathcad to work calculating the amount of money the gang managed to print in season 1.