An area the size of Wales

How often have you heard this international unit of area used to describe a bush fire, a flood or an area of deforestation?  The flood is covering an area the size of Wales. But what does this mean and why Wales?   There are plenty of other principalities to choose from and so why not San Marino or Andorra?

Wales has an area of 20,779 km2 whereas Andorra is 467 km2 and San Marion is 61 km2.  This means that a Wales is 44 Andorras and a massive 340 San Marinos.  Wales is about the size of El Salvador and Israel.  Lebanon, with an area of just over 10,000 km2 (or a million hectares) would be a more ideal standard metric unit of measure.

Perhaps we could adopt a metric country size measurement:

  • Lebanon at 10,000 km2
  • Slovenia at 20,000 km2
  • Lesotho at 30,000 km2
  • Switzerland at 40,000 km2
  • Slovakia at 50,000 km2
  • Or Iceland at 100,000 km2
  • Or even Egypt at 1,000,000 km2.

Naturally there are other international units of area, a very common one being a football pitch.  This is a little more difficult as a football pitch can be between 6400 m2 and 8300 m2.  So a Lebanon is between 15,625 and 12,048 football pitches and a Wales just over twice as much.  This assumes that they would all fit around the fiddly edge bits.

Of course it is not just area for which there are international units of measure.  There iss the double-decker bus, for length and the Olympic size swimming pool for volume.  Both of these have areas however.  The bigger of the London Routemaster buses (yes there are two types) has an area of 40m2 whilst the swimming pool is 1250m2.  This would make a Wales the equivalent of 519,475,000 double-decker buses or 16,623,200 Olympic size swimming pools.

In the end though, it might be just easier to stick to square metres and kilometres, which are truly internationally recognised units of measure.

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