So if you've ever been to a hockey game or waiting to skate at Rosa Parks Circle and watched the Zamboni, or maybe you were just really "thinking" about stuff, you may have wondered how long it would take to Zamboni the different places around the country, such as the great lakes.

Well, U.P. Supply Company recently had time on their hands and did the math on how long it would take to resurface the largest freshwater lake in the world and one of Michigan's natural resources, Lake Superior.

According to, Lake Superior has a surface area of 31,700 square miles. As pointed out in an article from, Zambonis can travel up to 9 miles per hour, although most of the time they're rolling around at around 5 m.p.h.

So how long would it take you to resurface Lake Superior?

According to U.P. Supply Company's math - 693 years or  252,877 days.  Of course, that's with no bathroom breaks or refueling stops, oh yeah and the lake staying frozen for a LONG time.

  • Lake Superior is 31,700 square miles

  • The standard North American ice rink is 17,000 square feet (200 X 85 feet)

  • There are 640 acres in 1 square mile

  • There are 43,560 square feet in 1 acre

  • A single Zamboni machine takes approximately 7 minutes to resurface a standard ice rink

  • During a single resurfacing a Zamboni machine travels approximately 34 of a mile

Now let's see that beautiful math footage:

We’ll start by converting Superior and an ice rink into acres.

Lake Superior: 31,700 * 640 = 20,288,000 acres
Ice rink: 17,000 / 43,560 = 0.39 acres

1 frozen Lake Superior = 52,020,513 ice rinks.

At about 7 minutes per rink it would take 364,143,591 minutes to resurface all of Lake Superior. That is 252,877 days.

Curious how long it would take to resurface the other Great Lakes?  Detroit Free Press used the info above and did the math for all of them:

Lake Superior: 693 years

Lake Huron: 502 years

Lake Michigan: 489 years

Lake Erie: 217 years

Lake Ontario: 160 years

Total: 2,061 years


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