Great Big Story speaks to the world’s best mathematicians to find out why they’re hoarding chalk. For something that seems so readily available (and also not that in demand!) it seems odd that chalk would be such a hot commodity.

 

It turns out that one chalk maker is deemed to be much better than all the rest. Once the maths pros have tried this chalk brand, no other one will do. Japanese brand Hagoromo made a name for themselves as prestige chalk makers, nicknamed the “Rolls Royce of chalk”.

Why The World's Best Mathematicians Are Hoarding Loads Of Chalk gif of chalk

After it came out that the chalk maker was going out of business, professors all over the US started frantically hoarding tons the white stuff. Some even stockpiled over 10 years worth of boxes of Hagaromo. Academics became “chalk dealers” overnight, supplying the best product around campus. In the end, the formula for the chalk was bought by another company, meaning the legend of Hagaromo would live on for years to come.

Hagaromo|Great Big Story|Documentary

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