Weird The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement  

Ranker Science
1.9k votes 344 voters 10.8k views 29 items

List Rules Vote up the weirdest and most strange units of measurements people have actually used.

Have you ever measured something using a household item when you're lacking a ruler or measuring tape? Maybe you needed to measure the size of your dinner table and you used your hand. Or you needed to know the size of your bookshelf and you measured it in "Apple TV remotes." Well,at least one of those funny measurements is actually real, despite sounding made up by you on a Saturday afternoon. To find out which is which check out this list of the weirdest (but real) units of measurement below.

This list of funny, strange, and weird units of measurement is both crazy and sometimes confusing. Who would think to use animals like cows, oxen, and sheep to measure something? How about using concert halls, sports arenas, and harbors as a super easy way to measure. Sounds pretty convenient! Or, what about using the time it takes a beard to grow as a way to measure time! These all may sound absurd and totally made up but rest assured these are all real units of measurement that some very strange or too smart for their own good humans use daily (or made use of back in the good old days of donkey power). 

Take a look at this weird list of real units to measure and vote for which one you think is the coolest or funniest. If you happen to use any of these regularly please let us know in the comments!

1
114 51
Beard-Second is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Beard-Second Equal to the length an average beard grows in one second (~10 nanoseconds).

2
66 37
Nibble is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Nibble Equal to 4 bits of information or data.

3
70 41
Hand is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Hand Equal to 4 inches.

4
72 44
Butt is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Butt Unit of volume for dry measure, equal to 108 Imperial gallons.

5
66 42
Banana Equivalent Dose is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Banana Equivalent Dose The additional dose of radiation a person will absorb from eating one banana (because of decaying potassium).

6
43 29
Jiffy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Jiffy Equal to the duration of one tick of the system timer interrupt in a computer (about 0.01 seconds).

7
43 30
Wiffle is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Wiffle Equal to 3.5 inches in diameter (used by marine biologists to measure corals and other ocean stuff).

8
38 26
Ton of Refrigeration is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Ton of Refrigeration Equal to the amount of energy removed by melting one ton of ice over 24 hours ( 12,000 BTU/h or 3.517 kW).

9
46 37
Donkey Power is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Donkey Power About 1/3 of horsepower.

10
34 25
Hair's Breadth is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Hair's Breadth Equal to around 10^−5 meters.

11
49 43
Muggeseggele is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Muggeseggele Equal to the length of a housefly's penis.

12
38 35
Hobbit is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Hobbit Unit of volume or weight formerly used in Wales, equal to 2.5 bushels.

13
38 37
Shake is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Shake Equal to 10 nanoseconds.

14
26 25
Cow's Grass is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Cow's Grass Equal to the amount of land that could produce enough grass to support a cow.

15
29 29
Brass is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Brass Equal to 100 square feet.

16
36 37
Candy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Candy Once used as a traditional South Asian unit of mass, equal to 227 kilograms.

17
22 22
Erlang is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Erlang Equal to one hour of continuous traffic per voice path.

18
26 27
Barn is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Barn Equal to 10^-28 square meters ( about the cross-sectional area of a uranium nucleus).

19
24 26
Coomb is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Coomb Old measure of volume from 13th century England, equal to ~140 liters.

20
20 22
Mother Cow Index is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Mother Cow Index Measures the number of pregnant cows an acre of land could support.

21
27 31
PONY is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Pony Equal to 1 US fluid ounce of liquor.

22
23 27
Hoppus Foot is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Hoppus Foot Equal to 1.273 cubic feet or 2,200 cubic inches.

23
16 25
Peck is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Peck Unit of dry volume, equal to 2 gallons or 8 dry quarts.

24
20 31
Oxgang is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Oxgang Old land measurement formerly used in Scotland and England, equal to 20 about English acres.

25
14 26
Sydney Harbour is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Sydney Harbour Equal to about 500 million cubic meters.

26
12 24
Savart is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Savart Equal to 1/300 of an octave, or 1/25 of a semitone (measures the frequency ratio of two sounds).

27
14 27
Foe is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Foe Equal to 10^44 joules (used to measure the energy produced by a supernova).

28
11 26
Sheppey is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Sheppey Equal to about 7/8 of a mile (the closest distance at which a sheep remains picturesque).

29
13 31
Furman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Furman Equal to 1/65,536 of a circle.