Reference points


elephant on scales









It may be useful to offer various representations to help us imagine the size or weight of things. As described in a BBC web article, Wales has long been used as a way of describing land areas, double decker buses for height and so on. To describe the impact of a landfill site a comparison was made with 90,000 elephants. I don’t think that is a particularly helpful reference.

What might focus the minds of couch potatoes (myself included) is what proportion of our weight is creeping towards that of an adult Asian elephant (3,700kg). Anything over 5% would surely qualify for a gastric belt on the NHS. The fact that my weight exceeds that of a newborn Asian elephant (100kg) does not give me the same level of cuteness. Rather it grants me admission to the entirely non-exclusive morbidly obese club (unless I can grow about 15 cm/6 inches taller).

It might also help if I translated my binge eating into the number of cakes an elephant would have to transfer from trunk to mouth. What about measuring the exercise required to shift some of my flab in terms of tree trunks hauled by working elephants. I think I’ll go and have a splash in a muddy river before I get carried away with my elephantine reveries. Although it is feeding time and my saliva glands are good to go…


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