Pokémon Go is Secretly Teaching Americans the Metric System

By Michael Nunez on at

How many kilometres are in a mile? Most Americans have no fucking idea. But the millions of Americans playing Pokémon Go, are quickly finding 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 two kilometres before it hatches, and more rare eggs require players to walk five kilometres or more. The eggs have left a lot of American players wondering, “How many miles are in 5 kilometres?”

Pokémon Go Is Secretly Teaching Americans the Metric System

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

Pokémon Go Is Secretly Teaching Americans the Metric System

Unfortunately, there’s no way to change the in-game units in Pokémon Go. You could always remember that 1 kilometre equates to 0.62 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.