Pokémon GO Is Secretly Teaching Americans The Metric System

Pokémon GO Is Secretly Teaching Americans The Metric System

How many kilometres are in a mile? (In Australia, we already know this, because we use the metric system and we’re smart.) If you’re like most Americans, you have no idea. But if you’re one of the millions of Americans playing Pokémon GO, you’re about to find out.

For the uninitiated, Pokémon GO is an app that uses your phone’s GPS to detect where you are in the real world and make Pokémon “appear” in the game depending on your location. Players are encouraged to patrol neighbourhoods looking for new and more powerful Pokémon.

Players can also collect items — including eggs — during their adventures. The eggs must be walked while in incubation in order to hatch. An egg typically needs to be walked 2km before it hatches, and more rare eggs require players to walk 5km. The eggs have left a lot of American players wondering, “How many miles are in 5km?”

Google Trends shows an uptick in the search term “5km to miles” shortly after Pokémon GO launched.

The answer is there are 3.1 miles in 5km, and there is 1.2 miles in 2km. So what does that mean for me? That means I’m going to be running laps around the park tonight because I have about a half dozen miles worth of eggs that need to be hatched.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to change the in-game units in Pokémon GO. Users of the imperial system could always remember that 1km equates to .62 miles and multiply the number of kilometres by 0.62 to quickly convert. Or if you’re lazy as hell, you could pay this Pokémon GO egg hatching service on Craigslist. It’s totally up to you. Either way, hatching rare eggs is going to take forever.