About 693 years.
That's according to new number-crunching from U.P. Supply Co., a Michigan-based clothing/homegoods store that's apparently getting into the online content game.
Is the premise of the Zamboni/Lake Superior question important or realistic? No. But is the math involved in answering it interesting? Kinda!
So, per U.P. Supply Co., the surface area of an entirely frozen Superior amounts to 52,020,513 ice rinks. It takes a single Zamboni machine around seven minutes to resurface a rink, meaning it'd take a driver -- who'd be dead several times over -- roughly 693 years to polish off Gitche Gumee. Commissioning 18,207,179 Zambonis would get the job done in just 20 minutes.
These findings became... um, relevant... because Lake Superior is historically frozen this winter. As of Thursday, 86 percent of the lake was covered by ice, NOAA reports. Superior hasn't completely iced over since 1996, according to 46 years of NOAA data, and the average ice coverage for February is only 30-ish percent. In fact, during that span, '96 was the only time Superior reached peak ice.
One strikingly handsome Twitter user captured the lake's icy majesty last week outside of Duluth:
Worth pointing out: Frank J. Zamboni & Co. owns the Zamboni brand, so it's sort of a Kleenex or Band-Aid situation, where real-world usage runs roughshod over trademarks. (We felt the wrath of un-chill Zamboni Co. suits after publishing this Lil Yachty blog). "Ice resurfacer" is the less litigious word choice.
If you'd like to own property on Superior's North Shore, check out this rare geodesic dome home.