Weird

The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement 

Ranker Science
2.4k votes 483 voters 16.2k 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!
list ordered by
1
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 nanometers).

2
Banana Equivalent Dose ... is listed (or ranked) 2 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).
3
Butt is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Butt
Unit of volume for dry measure, equal to 108 Imperial gallons.
4
Nibble is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Nibble
Equal to 4 bits of information or data.
5
Jiffy is listed (or ranked) 5 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).
6
Hand is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Hand
Equal to 4 inches.
7
Muggeseggele is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Muggeseggele
Equal to the length of a housefly's penis.
8
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
Wiffle is listed (or ranked) 9 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).
10
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
Mother Cow Index is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Mother Cow Index
Measures the number of pregnant cows an acre of land could support.
12
Donkey Power is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Donkey Power
About 1/3 of horsepower.
13
Hobbit is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Hobbit
Unit of volume or weight formerly used in Wales, equal to 2.5 bushels.
14
Candy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Candy
Once used as a traditional South Asian unit of mass, equal to 227 kilograms.
15
Erlang is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Erlang
Equal to one hour of continuous traffic per voice path.
16
Barn is listed (or ranked) 16 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).
17
Coomb is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Coomb
Old measure of volume from 13th century England, equal to ~140 liters.
18
Hoppus Foot is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Hoppus Foot
Equal to 1.273 cubic feet or 2,200 cubic inches.
19
Shake is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Shake
Equal to 10 nanoseconds.
20
Cow's Grass is listed (or ranked) 20 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.
21
Brass is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Brass
Equal to 100 square feet.
22
PONY is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Equal to 1 US fluid ounce of liquor.
23
Sydney Harbour is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Sydney Harbour
Equal to about 500 million cubic meters.
24
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
Foe is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Weirdest (Real) Units of Measurement
Foe
Equal to 10^44 joules (used to measure the energy produced by a supernova).