If you haven’t seen ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ yet, quit reading and go watch it right now.
After watching the brilliant escape scene for the twentieth time, I got thinking: just how long was the tunnel that Andy dug out? I shouldn’t have been surprised that someone had already calculated it. I went ahead and visualized the calculations in imperial units with some conservative estimation, and the result:
10′ is plausible, given the amount Andy could carry out each day and the fact that he was limited to tunneling for a few hours every night. Let’s say Andy tunneled 3 hours every night and progressed about 1/64″. At that rate he would be out in just over 2 years if he dug continuously.