The Analogizer

Enter a length, weight or volume:

Examples: 90cm, 2 million gallons, 600 grams

600 gallons is equal to the leaks from Thames Water pipes every 1.6 minutes during 2006.

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What is this?
Journalists! Do you think your readers are too dumb to understand '5 kilograms'? Do you want to add some useless, confusing analogies to make your article much harder to read? Having trouble thinking of something that doesn't revolve around the height or weight of an elephant? Well, worry no more! The Analogizer is here to save the day!
No, seriously, what's this?
It turns meaningful statistics into meaningless comparisons involving rat urine and British Columbia.
Who made it?
Hello. I'm Tom Scott. I live at, and you can email me or follow me on Twitter.
The elephant photo is by Amir Jacobi. Inspiration and cricket bat analogy from The Bugle.
It won't understand my statistic!
This isn't Google Calculator, sadly; it can only cope with lengths, masses (weights) and volumes, like those in the examples. It should be able to cope with many metric and imperial measurements, and with most SI prefixes. I might get around to adding time, power and so on at some point!
Does it use UK or US measurements?
UK. So there are twenty fluid ounces in a pint, for example, unless you specifically say 'US pint'. If you're worried about the ambiguity, I suggest using metric. And yes, I'm aware I'm spelling Analogizer with a Z; in my defence, I do pronounce it 'zed'. And I spelled 'defence' with a C.
It's broken!
Quite possibly. This was coded in a few hours' frenzy after getting the idea, and there are almost certainly bugs.
Is there an API?
Hell yes there's an API. Call this URL and you'll get JSON back, including a source citation. It'll return a 200 HTTP code on success, 412 if you mess up the query string, and 400 if it can't work out what you mean. Add a callback parameter and you'll get JSONP. No uptime guarantee, and if you're planning on hammering it email me first.
I'm a journalist, and I think this page is insulting to me and my profession.
That's OK. I think your mum is insulting to me and my profession.
I have another question!
Email me. I'm friendly. Oh, and I thought I should mention that I'm looking for work doing web, video and viral stuff. Just in case.

This is The Analogizer by Tom Scott.   |    More like this   |    Email   |    @tomscott on Twitter   |   Share