Figuring distances without using measuring tools is a skill that not everyone possesses. In fact, the farther the distance, the more inaccurate measuring by eye becomes. So, guesstimating 1 meter can be pretty straightforward, but measuring 3,000 times that length (3 kilometers) can be a challenge.
3 kilometers, which is equivalent to 1.86411 miles or 9,842.5 feet, is nearly impossible to get a feel for. That is, unless you know the lengths of objects that you can use as references. In this guide, I’ll show you 10 things to help you understand just how long 3 kilometers truly is.
30 Soccer Pitch Lengths
Soccer (known as football to non-American folks) is the most widely played sport in the entire world for reasons that are beyond my understanding. We just see people running up and down the field, trying to touch the ball with their hands. The only exciting thing about soccer is when the game finally ends, in my humble opinion.
Anyway, the exact dimensions of a soccer pitch vary from place to place. On average, soccer pitches range from 100 to 110 meters long. So, if you envisioned placing 30 soccer pitches side by side lengthwise, they would get you to precisely 3 kilometers.
105 Basketball Courts
Basketball is a much more thrilling sport than soccer. The games are face-paced, so you know you’re getting the most action squeezed into four 12-minute quarters. That is, until the refs start calling Ts on everyone for the tiniest reasons. As much as we despise opposing teams, all fans can agree that the refs ruin the sport.
The exact dimensions of a basketball court, according to the NBA, is 94 × 50 feet (28.65 × 15.24 meters). So, if we took the length of a basketball court and multiplied it by 105, we would only be 8.25 meters beyond the 3-kilometer mark.
17 Longest MLB Home Runs
Baseball is another sport that many Americans follow. Even though the sport has been dropping in attendance even before the pandemic, it’s still a sport that many people will sit and watch. It is, after all, America’s pastime.
If you’re a diehard fan of baseball, you probably know who Joey Meyer is. For the uninitiated, Joey Meyer hit the farthest home run in recorded MLB history. The ball traveled 582 feet, which is a mere 1/17 of 3 kilometers.
Up to 4,543 Footsteps
A simple yet somewhat accurate way of measuring long distances is by calculating how many footsteps it takes to reach them. According to Healthline, a man will cover about 30 inches with each footstep, whereas Live Strong claims that women will cover 26 inches.
So, using these short measurements, we can calculate that the average man would have to take 3,937 footsteps to reach 3 kilometers, while his female counterpart would need to take 4,543 steps to reach the same distance.
33 Football Fields
According to Statista, the National Football League is the most viewed pro sports league among sports fans. Around 33% of the people polled said they watch the NFL, which is about 17% higher than the MLB, which is at second place.
Any fan who knows anything about football will tell you that the playing field is 100 yards (300 feet) long. Converted to meters, that’s about 91.44 meters. That means you would need to imagine placing 33 football fields end to end to get close to 3 kilometers.
100 Blue Whales
Blue whales aren’t just the largest living animal on the planet; they’re the longest animal in history, period. The longest blue whale ever recorded was a cow in the South Atlantic. She measured 33.58 meters from snout to tail. She was 3 meters over the average blue whale length, which is around 24 to 30 meters.
If you were to collect 100 average blue whales and somehow managed to align them in a straight line, their collective lengths would give you an approximation of what 3 kilometers looks like.
Golden Gate Bridge
Allow me to drop some knowledge about the Golden Gate Bridge that you might not have known. A safety net was installed underneath the bridge, and it saved 19 men from plummeting to their deaths. Sadly, 11 people perished during its construction. Also, the red-orange color of the bridge was originally supposed to only be a primer, but it stuck since the architect loved the color.
Also, the bridge, which connects San Francisco and Marin Headlands, is 2,737 meters long. While it’s still 263 meters short of 3 kilometers, or about the length of 2 soccer pitches, it’s still pretty close.
At least 96 Boeing 737
Although the Boeing 737 has been in commission since 1997, it remains one of the most popular models in Boeing’s fleet. Depending on the variant, it weighs over 150,000 pounds, has over 240 seats, and has a max flying range of around 4,000 kilometers per trip.
From tail to nose, any Boeing 737 variant will measure between 31.2 and 43.8 meters long. So, you would need anywhere from 68 to 96 of them placed in a straight line to cover a distance of around 3 kilometers while parked.
4 Burj Khalifas
The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, at least for now. The 163-story skyscraper is located in the sandy deserts of Dubai, UAE. It stands 828 meters tall, towering close to 150 meters over the second-tallest building (Merdeka 118 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia).
As tall as the Burj Khalifa is, you would have to construct 3 more on top of the original to get to the 3-kilometer mark.
10 Cruise Ships
The Titanic is one of the most, if not the most, popular cruise ships of all time. By the standards of its time, the 882-foot-9-inch length of the Titanic was unfathomable. By today’s standards, the Titanic would only be around 80% of the average cruise ship length, which is 1,000 feet long.
To measure 3 kilometers in terms of the average cruise ship, you would need almost exactly 10 of them. However, if you were to take the largest cruise ship in history—the Wonder of the Seas—you would need about 8 of them to reach 3 kilometers.
How long is the National Mall and how does it compare to a distance of 3 kilometers?
The National Mall spans approximately two miles or around 3.2 kilometers in length. In comparison to a distance of 3 kilometers, the National Mall is approximately the same length.
How long would it take to walk 3 kilometers?
The time it takes to walk 3 kilometers can vary depending on various factors, including walking speed and individual circumstances. On average, it might take around 30 to 40 minutes to cover this distance by foot. However, this estimate can differ based on an individual’s walking pace and level of fitness. For some people, walking 3 kilometers is a regular part of their daily commute or exercise routine, and they may be able to cover this distance relatively quickly. On the other hand, for those who are not accustomed to walking longer distances, 3 kilometers might be considered a significant distance and could take them longer to complete. It is important to note that perceptions of what constitutes a long distance can also depend on personal perspectives and the specific context in which the distance is being considered.