Great Units of Our Time

While I realise I may have just led a sheltered life I have never before come across a unit of measurement that combines two units from entirely different systems into one contradictory whole, until today. For today I came across the acre millimetre, which quite obviously is the volume required to fill a one acre area up to a depth of one millimetre.

There was, of course, the acre inch or the hectare millimetre available, but luckily the author spurned these options and instead chose to take the gloriously unconventional path. Truly it enlivened an otherwise deadly dull report, though admittedly at the cost of making me question every other number in the document.

This marvellous unit was topped when, while looking for similarly odd unit combinations, I can across a petition against the Jispa Dam quoting the dam’s capacity as 0.6 million hectare feet of water, which is a truly outstanding unit which will mean nothing to people who think in either system. Only those conversant in both will have a feel for it, and they are probably the people who’d most prefer it if the two weren’t mixed. Truly a triumph of number wrangling.

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