How Many Feet in a Miles

How Many Feet in a Miles

How Many Feet Are in a Mile?

In our latest article we're going to address the question of how many feet there are in a mile. Albert Einstein was once asked how many feet there are in a mile. His reply was "I don't know, why should I fill my brain with facts I can find in two minutes in any standard reference book?" 

Yes, You Can Blame Rome (and London) for the Random Number.

Nearly every country in the world uses the metric system as its official system of weights and measurements. Yes, fellow Americans, we are among the exceptions to this rule, but there’s no use crying over a spilt liter of milk. The customary system has its own cool history. Well, one unit of the customary system does: the mile. It can be tricky to remember how many feet in a mile, since it’s a seemingly random number: 5,280. But there is a historical reason behind it, just like these other explanations of little things you’ve always wondered about. (Source: www.rd.com)

Where Did the Mile Originate?

According to Mental Floss, the modern mile has origins in Roman antiquity. The term “mile” is derived from the Latin mille passum, meaning “a thousand paces.” A pace, in Roman times, was equivalent in length to five human feet lined up from toe to heel. Romans happened to be a bit smaller than modern humans, so 5,000 Roman “feet” would equate to about 4,850 modern human “feet.” That means the entire road system of the Roman empire (over 250,000 miles of roads) consists of over 1.25 billion “feet.” But that’s not the only contribution Romans made to American life. (Source: www.rd.com)

How Did It Become 5,280 Feet?

While the basis of this measurement was Roman, the jump of 280 feet was positively British. In 1592, Parliament wanted to standardize the measurement of the mile and made the decision that it should be equal to eight furlongs. Furlongs, which are still used as a unit of measurement in horse racing, are 660 feet long. 660 times eight equals, you guessed it, 5,280. (Source: www.rd.com)

Why Are There 5,280 Feet in a Mile?

Why are there 5,280 feet in a mile, and why are nautical miles different from the statute miles we use on land? Why do we buy milk and gasoline by the gallon? Where does the abbreviation "lb" come from? Let's take a look at the origins of a few units of measure we use every day. 



Related Articles