# Top 10 Strangest Units of Measurement

You all know about feet and meters, kilometers and miles, and all the other very common units of measurement, usually from the metric or imperial measurement systems. They're widely used, but, lots of people have developed interesting, and sometimes strange, variations of normal units of measurement, and I'm going to list them here. Items on this list can't be random things you can come up with on the spot, they have to be units of measurement that were developed and have gained at least some fame. Anyways, here are the Top 10 Strangest Units of Measurement! Enjoy!
The Top Ten
1 The Beard-Second

One of the absolute strangest and most imaginative units of measurement is the Beard-Second. The Beard-Second is inspired by a common unit of measurement called a Light-Year, but it's much better for extremely short distances (like, really tiny ones), whereas the Light-Year is for enormous distances. You're probably wondering what a Beard-Second is. I'll tell you. It's exactly what it sounds like: the average length that a beard grows in a second. Most people and scientists describe 1 Beard-Second as 10 nanometers, which is equal to one billionth of a meter (extremely tiny), though others think it's more around 5 nanometers. This unit of measurement is pretty strange and kind of hilarious, though it's actually pretty inventive.

It would be funny if we used this to measure everything.

Interesting list. I didn't know any of these existed.

2 The Millihelen

Are any of you guys familiar with the story of the Trojan War? This unit of measurement is all about the woman who started it, Helen of Troy, whose Beauty caused a lot of problems. Basically she fell in love with this Trojan guy named Paris, but the problem was that she was already married to this guy from Sparta, called Menelaus. When she ran off to Troy, the Spartans sent a thousand ships to bring her back, thus starting the Trojan War. At least that's how legend tells it. Anyways, a Millihelen is the amount of beauty required to launch one ship, as a thousand Millihelens would be a thousand ships, or a Helen, as her beauty caused a thousand ships to go after her. It's a measure of beauty, and every Millihelen of beauty you posses is every ship that would launch after you. I'm probably a few thousand Millihelens, maybe even a million, but the average person might be just a dozen or so. This is a really weird and surprisingly well-known way of measuring things and it's so strange ...more

Some of these are at least kind of usable as measurements but this one I am not convinced over. Cool list anyway.

3 The Smoot

The Smoot is one of the most famous ones on here, so I'll cut straight to the facts. A Smoot is the length of a person named Oliver R. Smoot, who actually got really famous later on for being the chairman of the American National Standards institute and then for being the president of the International Organization for Standardization. Anyways, this was invented in 1958, back when Smoot was 5 foot 7 (or 170 cm) tall, and the unit of measurement is famous for being used to measure the Harvard Bridge (using Oliver Smoot as a ruler, they calculated it to be around 364.5 smoots long), and it's used quite a bit still, as Google Earth and Google Calculator include it as a unit of measurement, and police even used Smoots to measure things at crime scenes which occurred on that bridge! Still, it remains one of the strangest units of measurement as it's literally just a random person and using this guy to measure things makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

4 The Mickey

Another very strange unit of measurement used for distance is the Mickey. This is pretty straightforward, it's the smallest resolvable unit of distance possible by a computer mouse (what you use to select and point at things on your computer). Lots of computers actually include how many Mickeys per inch there are, and the more Mickeys per inch, the higher quality the mouse. Usually there are about 500 Mickeys per inch, which means it's a pretty small distance, but other computers can go up to over 16,000 Mickeys per inch, which is insane but a good quality for a computer to have. The name Mickey is after the famous cartoon character Mickey Mouse, as after all Mickey is a mouse and this unit of measurement is all about computer mice. Still, it's quite a strange way of measuring things.

5 The Sheppey

This is one of my favourites, because of how random and weird of a thing it is, and how it caught on pretty well. A Sheppy is a measure of distance that's about 7 eighths of a mile. We know that because, well, a Sheppy is the closest distance at which sheep remain picturesque, which means vivid and unusual, so it has to be fairly far away. It's named after the Isle of the Sheppy, which is this place in the UK, and was created by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd. This is really strange and ridiculous because, I mean... why? Why would you do it after sheep specifically? Why not another random animal like, oh, I don't know, sloths? It's actually been referenced in quite a few books on physics and is pretty well known, which is surprising considering the unusual way to calculate a Sheppey.

6 The Smidgen

That's right, a Smidgen, which is a word you've probably hear of before in your life, is a real thing. You know tablespoons and teaspoons and all of those measurements for cooking, right? And I'm sure you've heard of a dash in cooking instructions, like 'just a dash of salt', for example. Well, a dash is usually 1/8 of a teaspoon, which is the smallest of the spoons. After a dash, there's a pinch, like 'just a pinch of salt'. That's half of a dash, or 1/16 of a teaspoon. Finally, there's a smidgen. It's half of a pinch, or a quarter of a dash, or 1/32 of a teaspoon. Extremely, extremely tiny. So tiny that it's almost impossible to correctly put in "a smidgen of salt" and it's so small that it really won't affect the thing you're baking very much, which makes it pretty strange and unnecessary. I couldn't not include it in the list.

7 The Banana Equivalent Dose

Another pretty weird unit of measurement involves bananas. The Banana Equivalent Dose is a measure used to compare the amount of radiation that someone is exposed to from one thing, compared to the amount of radiation you're exposed to by eating an average banana. It's pretty easy to understand, though the amount of radiation in a banana and how to calculate it is more complicated. Yeah, this may be a practical measurement for radiation, but it's still pretty strange to use a banana as measurement, and it still deserves its place on this list.

8 The Donkey-Power

I'm sure most people here have heard of Horse-Power before, which is 745.7 watts of power, but has anyone heard of Donkey-Power before? Well, apparently mathematicians and other people weren't satisfied with just horse power, so they added in another unit, called Donkey-Power. Comically, this engineering unit is much smaller than 1 Horse-Power - it's around 250 Watts, or about a 3rd of a Horse-Power, which reflects how Donkeys are generally known to be less powerful and useful than horses in the real world, I guess. But they should've probably just stuck with horse power, because this is pretty weird.

9 The Mother Cow Index

Another extremely weird item on this list, the Mother Cow Index is pretty strange. It's the number of pregnant cows (which is whether the mother cow part comes from) an acre of a spot of land could support. It was actually used quite a bit, and at a time it was frequently used in real estate transactions all throughout the American Southwest. It was a measure of the agricultural quality as well as the arability and the natural resource availability of the area, and honestly not a stupid measurement. However, the name and use of pregnant cows to measure it is pretty strange, and this definitely had to take its place on the list.

10 The Scaramucci

Are any of you familiar with the guy Anthony Scaramucci? He's an American financer who was the White House Communications Director, and this unit of measurement, used to measure time, is named after him for his tenure under Donald Trump, which is a whole other political fiasco. His tenure was very short, the shortest in history, actually, and it lasted 11 days, which is the length of that measure of time. Sometimes a Scaramucci can be 10 days as well.

The Contenders
11 The Shot
12 Hoppus Foot
13 The Waffle House Index

Green means it's operating normally, yellow means it's open but lost some power, and red means it's closed. It's an actual unit of measurement.

14 The Barleycorn

It's how shoe sizes are measured.