The law in most states requires you to dim your car lights when you are 500 feet away from an oncoming vehicle. This is also a common distance for temporary restraining orders, among other things. But how do you know how far 500 feet is visually?
500 feet is the equivalent of 152.4 meters or 6000 inches.
If you still can’t visualize it, let’s look at a few common items you can refer to when thinking about 500 feet.
1. 50 Story Building
The height of one story in most buildings is usually 10 feet. That means 500 feet is a good 50 story building. However, that’s not always the case as buildings come in different sizes.
For example, some stories can be as short as 6 feet tall. The design of the roof and different roof decorations also determine how tall the building is.
2. Half of the Eiffel Tower
Speaking of buildings, did you know the famous Eiffel Tower is 1063 feet long? This historic building in Paris receives over 7 million people as tourists every year.
Besides its height, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most magnificent-looking structures in the world. If you measure half of it from the ground up, you will have 500 feet, give or take.
3. 10 Shipping Containers
You see shipping containers everywhere from the back of semi-trucks, behind every cargo train, and even the shopping complex near you. Those cargo containers are versatile and incredibly durable. If you measure one from end to end, it measures 50 feet in length.
That means you can line up ten of them to get a 500 feet container structure.
4. 5 Blue Whales
A blue whale is not only the largest animal on earth now but also the largest animal ever to exist. An adult blue whale measures about 100 feet in length and weighs over 190 pounds.
While these amazing creatures almost went extinct a century ago, they are now protected by multiple international laws, meaning they are not going anywhere anytime soon. Thankfully, they live for over 70 years, which is enough time to reproduce and fill the world.
5. 2 Boeing 777-300
Boeing has a long and exciting history of making the world’s largest airplanes. One of the largest today is the Boeing 747, which ranks among the two most successful aircraft globally.
Though it has undergone several upgrades and modifications over the years, the Boeing 747-300 measures 242 feet in length and 212 feet in wingspan. This means that two of these aircraft will make up almost 500 feet.
6. 1.4 Football Fields
A typical football field is 360 feet from end to end and 160 feet wide. However, the actual playing field is only 300 feet long because the two far end zones are 30 feet long each.
If you can visualize the size of a football field, you only need to add about half of that to get 500 feet. Mathematically, 500 feet is exactly 1.4 football fields which are easy to see in your head.
7. Half a Cruise Ship
History depicts the Titanic as this humongous ship that shook the earth’s foundation on its way down. However, the titanic was less than a quarter of today’s cruise ships whose length goes past 1000 feet.
The Harmony of the Seas, for example, is 1,188 feet long, and it’s still not the longest cruise ship in the world. Knowing this, 500 feet is only half the length of a cruise ship.
8. 2 City Blocks
The length of a city block is different in every state and every city. In fact, some blocks are square while others are rectangular. For cities with square feet blocks like Portland and Houston, the block is 250-300 feet all around. 260 feet is the average length of one city block across the US. This means two blocks are 500 feet long.
9. Distance of 5 Street Lights
Street lights are a fundamental fixture in most roads and streets. But do you know the distance between one street light to the next?
The short answer is it depends. The space between two lights should be 2.5-3 times the height of the light pole. Other factors like road geometry, lighting lass, and the type of light used also affect this distance. However, all street lights are 30-50 meters apart, so 500 feet is around four poles.
The dimension of stuff has been an interest of mine ever since I was a child. What I believe is most fascinating about the dimension of stuff is how extremely long, tall and wide some objects are both on earth and in the universe.