A superegg is obtained by rotating a super ellipse around one of its axes. It is a solid egg shape with perfect symmetry and zero curvature at the tips, giving it the ability to stand upright on its own. Itâ€™s the result of some cool math used to solve a city planning problem. Numberphile looks at how this object came to be.

Video Summary

The concept of a superegg started with Swedish town planners. Sergels torg, a public square in Stockholm, is in the shape of a rectangle, and the locals wanted to create a roundabout in the center of it. A circle wastes too much space in the rectangle, and a regular ellipse, is too small near the top, leading to traffic jams. Peit Hein, a Danish scientist and mathematician, eventually came up with a solution which he called a super ellipse. This was created by changing the equation for an ellipse until it was a perfect combination between an ellipse and a rectangle (exactly halfway in between an ellipse and a rectangle).