"Parts of the gorge are almost 2297 feet deep"

This was displayed on my exercise bicycle on my cruise ship, as I was biking some Tour de France course on the bike's display.

My first thought was "What a weirdly specific number they chose to follow the vague word 'almost.'"

My second thought was, "Oh, they made the same mistake as the people who stated that the average human body temperature is '98.6.'"

What is the mistake?


  1. 700 meters rounds to 2297 feet so I'm guessing this part of the bike's display program was written based on a metric value and has a converter if the display is set to use imperial.

  2. and as 98.6F= 37C perhaps we ended up with a too specific value for body temperature along the same lines ?

  3. The body is not at one uniform temperature, and also varies with time of day, activity, etc.

    The depth of an underwater gorge, even if it could be precisely measured, varies with the tides and season.

  4. Rob, that sounds likely. Interesting. I come across this stuff at work, too. "Calibrate the pressure transducer from 0 to 344.7 kPa."


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