The average sinuosity of rivers – their length as the river travels, divided by the distance from source to mouth as the crow flies – is supposed to be π. But it’s actually 1.94, and depends heavily on the river. Via James Grime, writing for the Grauniad.
That’s worse than the Indiana pi bill or 1 Kings 7:23. To be fair to the Biblical text, which refers to a “molten sea” that is “round all about”, thirty cubits around and ten cubits across, nobody there is claiming those are high-precision measurements. And if you want to try really hard to make things work out you can argue that the inner brim was thirty cubits around and the outer diameter was ten cubits, which is stated three verses later.
(It’s a shame that approximation isn’t in 1 Kings 7:22…)
This post is scheduled to go out at 12:26, because I am in Eastern time and Pi Day was originally invented in San Francisco. Or actually because I forgot to do a pi day post until after I saw other people did.