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An error of 8 cm per step would carry on to a potential error of 312 cm on the total 39 steps which is around 5 steps.
Even if you somehow could be sure that the group would decide to use that one guys steps as their measurement.
Even if you somehow knew his average step length.
Even if the beach had an perfectly even structure in a sense of thickness and sinking in ability.
Even if all the positions were in an exact straight line.
Even if you then would position the people in exactly 39 steps of the one guys average steps in exactly this sand structure.
Even if he would measure the distances a houndred times what you cannot really do in the sand, either you follow the steps of your first measurement or you need to actively decide to instantly use another step length for the first step, seeing the footsteps of yourself of the first measurement in front of you.
How would you get an avarage of 39 steps and not 40 while realising that every time you tried to measure you made big measurement errors.
The coincidence of the number being referenced again striked me so hard.