Length and Distance ConversionsWiki How

How Many Smoots in a Bridge?

The number of smoots in a bridge is a playful and informal way to describe the length of bridges. A smoot is based on the height of Oliver R. Smoot, a Harvard graduate student who, in a lighthearted venture in 1958, used his body to measure the Harvard Bridge. Oliver Smoot stood at 5 feet 7 inches tall, and this height became the basis for defining a smoot.

The Calculation of Smoots

To calculate the number of smoots in a bridge, one simply divides the length of the bridge by 5 feet 7 inches, the equivalent of one smoot. For example, the Harvard Bridge, measuring 2,310 feet long, is approximately 412 smoots in length. Likewise, the Golden Gate Bridge, with a length of 8,981 feet, is about 1,624 smoots long.

Varied Smoot Counts

Different bridges around the world vary in length, resulting in varying smoot counts. The use of smoots is a whimsical and informal way to add humor and personality when discussing bridge lengths. For instance, one might quip that the Brooklyn Bridge is “1,595.5 smoots long” or that the Millau Viaduct is “3,430 smoots long.”

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is the smoot a widely recognized unit of measurement?

No, the smoot is not an official or standardized unit of measurement. It is a humorous and informal measurement associated with the Harvard Bridge.

Who uses the term “smoot” to describe bridge lengths?

The term “smoot” is often used in a playful context by individuals who want to add a touch of humor to their descriptions of bridge lengths.

Can smoots be used for precise measurements, or are they only for fun?

Smoots are primarily used in a lighthearted manner for informal or humorous expressions of length. They are not suitable for precise measurements.

Are there any practical applications for the smoot beyond humor?

While not an official unit, smoots can make discussions about bridge lengths more engaging and memorable.

Who was Oliver R. Smoot, and why was he chosen for this measurement?

Oliver R. Smoot was a Harvard graduate student who, in 1958, became the subject of this unusual measurement when his friends playfully used him to measure the Harvard Bridge. The choice of Smoot added a human touch to an otherwise standard measurement.


The smoot, with its amusing origin and informal nature, serves as a fun and unique unit of measurement for describing bridge lengths. Although it lacks official recognition, the concept of the smoot adds a touch of humor and personality to discussions about bridge dimensions and offers an entertaining way to engage in conversation about lengths and distances.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button