Units for measurements around the globe developed from what was easily available, namely body parts. For instance, hands were used to measure the height of horses, human feet for distance, and even the average length a physicist’s beard grows in a second was once used to measure extremely short distances (around 5 nanometers). An inch in the West, is generally based on the length of a thumb.
Yet, China’s inch historically used more than one digit or finger depending on who or what was being measured. Was this ever standardized? Do some people still use multiple fingers to measure things? These questions and more are answered in my newest blog post: Cùn: The Chinese Inch (寸)!