Wheels vs. doors: a once insignificant debate now sparking social media outrage

by Semira Arora (’25) and Anusha Jain (’25) | April 8, 2022

Art by Tessa Gross (’24)

In addition to debates on many viral phenomena such as the audio of Laurel and Yanny or the infamous black and blue dress, social media is sparking yet another trend. The question at hand is: are there more wheels or doors in this world?

The #doorsvswheels trend has almost 400 million views on TikTok. It started on March 5, when Twitter user Ryan Nikon (@NewYorkNixon), posted a tweet that stated: “My mates and I are having the STUPIDEST debate…And I am here for it. Do you think there are more doors or wheels in the world?” He followed up by posting a poll asking followers if they were team wheels or doors. After 233,347 votes, the poll concludes that 53.6% of people believe there are generally more wheels in this world. Although the poll ended, the internet was certainly not done sharing their opinions. 

Doors are defined as a hinged, sliding, or revolving barrier typically for a vehicle, building, or cupboard. This would include cabinets, office doors, house doors, shower doors, microwaves, and the like. Smaller versions of doors in dollhouses could also count in this debate. Twitter user Matt Daubney counted the doors and wheels in his house to create a sample size and he concluded that there were more doors in his house. Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and architect Carlo Ratti believes that with so many buildings, the number of doors in the world is significantly greater than the number of wheels.

The seemingly more popular opinion, however, is that there are more wheels in the world. A common example is an office building. Although there are numerous doors, every cubicle and office has a chair with at least 5 or 6 wheels. The definition of a wheel is a circular object that revolves, which would also include gears and typical wheels found on vehicles. Gears are in fact considered wheels with rough edges; they are found in every clock, car, bicycle, and truck. Many vehicles around the world such as scooters and cycles do not have any doors but still add to the number of wheels. Smaller versions of wheels also exist in toys such as LEGOs. In fact, there are around 310 million LEGO tires around the world, according to the Guinness World Records. 

While the definition of a door is more straightforward, wheels have a significant amount of leeway, allowing for more circular objects to be classified as such. Various objects such as drawers, vehicles, and anything with gears can be counted towards the total number of wheels in the world. For instance, Hot Wheels manufactured 660 billion wheels for their toy cars.

A new icebreaker between individuals has formed amidst the divisiveness of the internet. Perhaps this debate has brought people closer together or alternatively incited controversy among many. Regardless, this still sparks more meaningful conversations on social media. It is interesting to see how a seemingly mundane question can transform into a fiery debate through the power of the internet.

Categories: Opinions

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