Adele's third album 25 hits shelves tomorrow, which means that yesterday and today a bunch of big trucks full of CDs are making their way into Targets and Walmarts and Barnes and Nobles all over the country. Those trucks, according to intel gathered by Billboard, are carrying 3.6 million physical copies of Adele's 25.
That is so so so many albums. Three point six million albums is way more albums than literally anyone else in music is shipping. Remember last year, when Taylor Swift broke a buncha records? She sold 1.2 million albums in a single week (and that included digital sales). Adele is aiming much, much higher than that. The last time an artist or band shipped more than 3.6 million physical copies was in 2000—*NSYNC's No Strings Attached shipped 4.2 million copies.
3.6 million is a pretty big number. It's really difficult to visualize. But let's try!
I measured a CD to do this math. The CD was 5.59 in × 4.92 in × 0.39 in and weighed 2.15 oz.
If all 3.6 million copies of Adele's 25 were stacked up, they would reach 22.16 miles into the sky.
That is four times the height of Mount Everest.
If all 3.6 million copies of Adele's 25 were laid side by side, they would cover 317.61 miles.
That is the distance from New York City to Portland, Maine.
If all 3.6 million copies of Adele's 25 were weighed together, they would weigh 483,750 pounds.
That is 40 elephants worth of Adele albums.
If all 3.6 million copies of Adele's 25 were put in one room they would take up 22,346 cubic feet.
That means that Adele albums could fill up a fourth of an Olympic-size swimming pool.
Sony executives are expecting that the album will sell 1.5 million physical copies alone in its first week—plus another million in digital sales. Talk about cultural domination.
Happy Adele Eve, everyone!
Kelsey McKinney is a culture staff writer for Fusion.