Science Unit Conversion Humor

Science Professor Teaching
Most students find unit conversions to be anything but funny, yet there is humor if you know where to look for it. Getty Images/alashi

This is a list of funny, made-up scientific unit conversions. If you need help with real unit conversions, check out our collection of printable conversion worksheets and examples of worked unit conversion problems.

  • 453.6 graham crackers = 1 pound cake
    Explanation: There are 453.6 grams in 1 pound.
  • Ratio of an igloo's circumference to its diameter = Eskimo Pi
    Explanation: Pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to diameter, while there is a stereotype that Eskimos dwell in igloos.
  • 2000 pounds of Chinese soup = Won ton
    Explanation: A wonton is a type of Chinese dumpling. There are 2000 pounds in 1 ton.
  • Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement = 1 bananosecond
    Explanation: Instead of expressing the unit in terms of nanoseconds, it's bananoseconds because a banana caused the fall.
  • 1 millionth of a mouthwash = 1 microscope
    Explanation: This refers to the popular mouthwash, Scope. The metric prefix "micro" means one millionth.
  • 1 million bicycles = 1 megacycles
    Explanation: The metric prefix "mega" means 106 or one million.
  • Weight an evangelist carries with God = 1 billigram
    Explanation: This refers to the American evangelist Billy Graham.
  • Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour = Knotfurlong
  • 365.25 days of drinking low-calorie beer = 1 Lite year
  • 16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Serling
    Explanation: The rod is a unit of length equal to 16.5 feet. Rod Serling is the American tv producer, screenwriter, and narrator responsible for "The Twilight Zone."
  • Basic unit of laryngitis - 1 hoarsepower
    Explanation: One symptom of laryngitis is hoarseness.
  • Shortest distance between two jokes - a straight line
    Explanation: To deliver a joke as a straight line means it's a short joke delivered with a straight face (like it's not a joke at all).
  • 1 million microphones = 1 megaphone
  • 365.25 days = 1 unicycle
    Explanation: 365.25 days is one year or one cycle of the Earth around the Sun. It's especially clever because unicycle has another meaning. It's a bike with one wheel.
  • Half a large intestine = 1 semicolon
    Explanation: the large intestine is also called the colon. Since it's only half a colon, it's a semicolon, much like half a circle is a semicircle.
  • 2000 mockingbirds = two kilomockingbirds
    Explanation: "To Kill a Mockingbird" is a famous novel by author Harper Lee published in 1960. The kilo is the prefix for a thousand. So, 2000 is two kilo.
  • 10 cards = 1 decacard
    Explanation: Deca is the prefix for 10.
  • 52 cards = 1 deckacard
    Explanation. There are 52 cards in a deck of playing cards.
  • 1,000,000 aches = 1 megahurtz
    Explanation: There are one million (106) hertz in 1 megahertz. This is a play on words, substituting hurtz (like pain, but with a "z") for hertz.
  • 1 millionth of a fish = 1 microfiche
    Explanation: The word "microfiche" is pronounced like micro-fish. The prefix micro means one millionth.
  • 2.4 statute miles of intravenous surgical tubing at Yale University Hospital = 1 I.V. League
    Explanation: Intravenous tubing is also called IV tubing. Yale is one of the Ivy League school, plus 2.4 statute miles is a length equal to 1 league.
  • 1 kilogram of falling figs = 1 fig newton
    Explanation: The newton is a unit force, which is mass under acceleration (such as you'd get from falling figs). This play on words refers to the Nabisco cookie, the fig newton.
  • 1000 grams of wet socks = 1 literhosen
    Explanation: Lederhosen are short breeches (not actually socks). There are 1000 grams of water (more or less) in one liter. The liter is a unit of volume used for liquids, so wet socks are literhosen.
  • 1 trillion pins = 1 terrapin
    Explanation: The prefix terra means a trillion.
  • 10 rations = 1 decaration
    Explanation: The prefix deca means 10.
  • 100 rations = 1 C-ration
    Explanation: C is the Roman numeral for 100.
  • 2 monograms = 1 diagram
    Explanation: Mono is the prefix for one, while dia means two.
  • 2 new dimes = new paradigms
    Explanation: Two dimes is a pair of dimes. A paradigm is a model or pattern.

More Science Fun and Humor

Looking for more science fun? Check out this collection of molecules with strange names, learn how to make a stink bomb, or trick your friends with disappearing ink.

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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Science Unit Conversion Humor." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, August 26). Science Unit Conversion Humor. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Science Unit Conversion Humor." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 30, 2023).