Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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In the centre of a vast, level plain, a huge cubic structure is visible.

As the traveller approaches, they are overwhelmed by its size.

On reaching the cube, the traveller notes that it is surrounded by other structures - spheres, cones, pyramids and cylinders - which would be in other contexts be judged very large, but are dwarfed by the cube, which is 1000m along each edge.

Having paid their entry fee, the visitor is admitted to the facility. The larger shapes are hollow, and contain informative galleries, as is the cube, which has painted on one face the words "ONE CUBIC KILOMETRE" in a number of languages.

The cube itself is empty, but well-illuminated. It is simply a vast, enclosed space, which is staggeringly big. The floor is used for various exhibits; here, you can see, in a circle, a ton of sand, of concrete, iron, and wood, with representations of a ton of gold, silver, uranium, platinum, lead and iridium.

In the centre of the circle is a tank containing a ton of water as a standard reference.

In a similar adjacent circle are a ton of potatoes, corn, wheat, yams, coconuts and other foodstuffs, again with the central water tank as a reference.

There will be divisions for different subjects; biology, astronomy, physics, chemistry, economics. As far as possible, everything will be "actual size" - one of the cylinders outside will be representative of the volume of JP-1 used by a transatlantic airliner, another the volume of gasoline consumed by an average driver in their lifetime. A pyramid would show how big a heap the population of China would be if they were all piled up in one place.*

Some of the structures would contain hotels, as the site will be too large to see all of it in one day.

Golf carts, travellators and other mobility devices will be provided, but visitors will be encouraged to "walk the cube" if they are at all capable of it. It's only 4km, after all.

At night the structures will be floodlit, but these floodlights will be switched off when the astronomical observatory on the top of the cube is active.

Camping is permitted on the top of the cube.

* Hopefully this will be done using the actual population of China, altho there apear to be a few Issues to resolve in the implementation.

8th of 7, Feb 03 2017

Time Pyramid https://en.wikipedi...g/wiki/Time_pyramid
[hippo, Feb 03 2017]

Time Pyramid https://www.google....mid+wemding+germany
[hippo, Feb 03 2017]

Some Population Figures http://www.worldome...ulation-by-country/
According to this, India's population is nearly the same as China's. China recently relaxed its "one child per couple" policy, so it remains to be seen if China's population will now grow faster than India's. [Vernon, Feb 03 2017]

If you put all humans on a pile, they would take a really small space http://sploid.gizmo...uld-only-1569188500
Instead of a pile of Chinese, use the whole human population. Vsauce calculates the pile would fit inside a square 788 metres per side. [tatterdemalion, Feb 04 2017]

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       This concept reminds me of the Time Pyramid (which I visited a couple of years ago), the purpose of which is to help convey something of the scale of 1,000 years to people used to thinking about much shorter time periods.
hippo, Feb 03 2017
  

       Noice. (+)   

       This would be a great place for any commodity trader to visit. I would add various measures of other things. A physical representation of million, billion, and trillion dollars. The number of hamburger patties sold by a busy restaurant in a year. The number of potatoes eaten by a town in a year. The number of AA batteries required to power a typical household for a day.The amount of insect matter permitted in a year's supply of chocolate.
Voice, Feb 03 2017
  

       Yes, all of the above.
8th of 7, Feb 03 2017
  

       One tonne of water is easy to visualise, being one cubic metre. At ocean beaches, this fact is often impressed on the casual observer (i.e., the one not paying attention as the wave comes in).
pertinax, Feb 04 2017
  

       You could base-jump off the top of it.   

       (That was a suggestion, [8th], rather than merely an observation.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 04 2017
  

       Base-jumping will not only be permitted, but actively encouraged. Both new and used* parachutes and hanggliders** will be offered, at a range of prices to suit every*** pocket.   

         

       *bloodstain removal service available for a small additional charge.   

       ** Pole straightening service available for a small additional charge. A selection of replacement stay cables, turnbuckles, thimbles and hooks - both new and used*** - are on sale in the Flight Shop.   

       *** Patrons are advised that used equipment is sold "as seen" and no warranty, express or implied, is provided. All sales are final**** and no discussion or correspondence will be entered into, particularly with next-of-kin of the purchaser.   

       **** For the lowest-priced items, usually very, very final.
8th of 7, Feb 04 2017
  

       If shape is everything then you have designed the biggest A.R. Sheldrake virus known to nature.
wjt, Feb 04 2017
  
      
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