You’re giving a announcement to the press about a small asteroid that has managed to get through our atmosphere without completely burning up. The small space rock is named 2022 EB5 and hit above Iceland last Friday causing a boom and a flash of light as it whizzed across the sky.
You haven’t found any evidence of the asteroid actually making it all the way to the ground, but you want to make folks feel secure about how little damage it would have caused. So you describe the size of the asteroid as small, 10 feet/3 meters across, “half the size of a giraffe”.
What? I think a lot of people have probably seen a giraffe in a zoo and have a fairly good idea of how big a giraffe is but it’s certainly not the first thing I would think of when trying to tell someone the size of something. Especially when 10 feet or 3 meters isn’t that hard to imagine. But a giraffe…. actually HALF a giraffe?
Isn’t half a giraffe the same as a baby elephant? Or six dolphins? Are we picking on animals? Should we say the asteroid is the size of a Volkswagen Beetle? And even if we stay with giraffes are we talking half a male giraffe, a female giraffe, a dwarf giraffe? Are we talking head to halfway through the torso or halfway through the torso to the feet?
Possibilities are endless.
What do you think is a measure of size that the world is missing out on?