If the thought of guessing someone's height correctly from a video of them in their room sounds impossible to you, you'll have to think again. A college student named Kenyon Lee, whose methodology goes back to Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, has gained millions of likes and followers on TikTok by doing just that.
His unique talent, determining a person's height with just a few markers and an exquisite understanding of math, took him to where he is right now in just four weeks after posting his first video.
'CEO of guessing TikToks'
Lee's first TikTok video posted on his account, @kentai.haven, showed him trying to guess the height of another TikToker by analyzing a stool in her room and relying on the average measurement for two human bones, the femus and tibia, in the leg. Based on those two pieces of information, Lee was able to correct the TikToker's height correctly.
His first video got him over 1 million views and thousands of people challenging him to guess their heights correctly. He has now become the "CEO of guessing TikToks." In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Lee stated that his starting point was Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man since the artwork states ratios which the average human body generally follows.
“Really, it all boils down to what kind of evidence I can find on their page," Lee said to Buzzfeed News. "So I can find different objects in their room that just kind of help me gauge, guess their height. I try not to even take into account how the object looks in comparison with the person, but I more so like to look at the dimensions and just see if the math lines up. So most of the time, I'm actually really accurate.”
And he is accurate. Lee has only gotten three or four people's heights wrong in 30 videos, which gives him an accuracy of about 90 percent, per Popular Mechanics.
But how does he do it?
In an interview with Popular Mechanics, Lee stated that while he doesn't want to give away the special formulas he uses to get the right answer just yet, he can reveal some of the processes.
He reportedly uses linear algebra, geometry, calculus, some statistic, and basic rules about human anatomy hence Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man.
He first watches all the videos the person's videos and finds references to help him determine the distance between the person's elbows to the top of their middle finger, per Popular Mechanics. He does that by using the "golden ratio." By making use of a series of mathematical equations, he, for example, manages to work out the diameter of a hand from the Dunkin' cup it is holding
Lee stated that he couldn't find a methodology in peer-reviewed research that resembles his. While he continues his life as "CEO of guessing TikToks," he also wants to guess the heights of a few thousand people and get a more accurate average for his rules with all the data he has gathered.
On top of all that, he also stated that he'd like to become an engineer or pursue computer science one day.
"I'm really looking into computer science," he said to BuzzFeed News. "I've been talking with a lot of other engineers who've connected with me through my page, and they've just been talking to me about things that I might like, such as digital forensics, data science. I think it's really interesting and stuff that I would look into."