Measuring Cup

Measuring Cup

Cambridge mug with printed text
edition 200


This mug is typically used for drinking hot beverages such as tea, coffee, hot chocolate or soup. Its internal volume holds 330ml of fluid, the same as a can of Coke, almost twice the amount of an average teacup, 0.000000000000000000026 % of all water on Earth, and 17 % of your recommended daily intake of liquid. Empty, the mug contains air consisting of 259ml nitrogen, 69ml oxygen and 0.1ml carbon dioxide (equal to the breath of a child) To fill with water from a tap takes just over 5 seconds. Filled with carbonated water, it would release over 18.9 million bubbles. Seawater, left to evaporate, would leave a residue of 2 teaspoons of salt. It takes 45 seconds to boil a mug of water in an electric kettle and just over 5 minutes to boil dry. It takes 19 minutes for water to cool from boiling point before it’s comfortable to drink, requiring 44 sips or around 10 gulps to swallow. It takes 3 hours to freeze in a domestic freezer and 6 hours to thaw at room temperature. It takes a dairy cow 20 seconds of milking to fill with milk. If spilled, it seeps to an area of 15.8 square metres, and requires 18 sheets of kitchen towel to mop up. A mug of powdered milk produces enough formula to feed 39 babies, and 1 mug of wee can be absorbed by 4 Pampers. Filled with a soapy bubble mixture, it holds enough to create a bubble with a diameter of 32 metres. It can contain one moderate nosebleed, sweat from one athlete exercising for 20 minutes, and the tears of 165 people watching E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. It holds enough chlorine for 1/667th of an Olympic swimming pool. Left outside, it would take just over 7 hours of monsoon rain to fill, which would take 28 days of strong sunshine to evaporate. Condensed into water it can accommodate a cumulus cloud the size of a large family home. It requires 453 olives to make 1 mug of olive oil, and this would take over 3 minutes to decant empty. The mug’s total capacity equates to 11 espresso shots, 6600 eye drops, enough bleach to bleach 7 people’s hair white. Filled with candle wax, it would burn for 93 hours, or 2 hours filled with methylated spirits. Filled with ethanol, its alcoholic volume is equal to 13 pints of beer. It requires 154 grapes to make 1 mug of wine and takes at least 80,400 bees a full day to fill it with honey. It can accommodate 14 % of one maple tree’s seasonal supply of syrup. It requires 181 squirts to fill with hand soap, it can contain enough detergent powder to clean nearly 8 rugby teams’ kits, and holds 165 Windolene squirts. It holds enough India ink to tattoo 75 human bodies, and enough Dulux to paint a small garage door. It costs £346.50 to fill with Chanel perfume, and holds enough nail varnish to give all 193 members of the UN both a manicure and a pedicure. Filled with gold, it would be worth £195,000 (plus the cost of the mug). You can fit this and another 44 identical mugs into the average dishwasher — and the water used when you turn it on fills this mug 82 times over. Empty it weighs 215 grams, and filled with water it weighs 545 grams. If you dropped it onto a hard floor, it would most likely smash into 3 pieces. The external surface of the mug can fit 593 words set in 8 point Helvetica.


A standard Cambridge mug has an internal volume of 330ml.

Coca Cola can
The standard size can of Coca Cola sold in over 200 countries around the world is 330ml.

An average size teacup holds 170ml. Our mug holds almost
twice that amount.

Earth’s Water
1,260,000,000,000,000,000,000,000ml of water on earth. (350ml / 1,260,000,000,000,000,000,000,000)
*100 = 0.000000000000000000026 % of the earth’s water
can fit in the cup, or “(2.6 × 10 – 20)%”.

Daily water intake
Recommended daily amount of water intake: 1900ml.
330 / 1900 = 0.173. The cup holds ~17 % of your RDA of
water intake.

Empty cup contents
The chemical breakdown of air is 78.6 % nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 0.04 % carbon dioxide. In 330ml of air, there will be ~ 259ml of nitrogen, ~ 69ml of oxygen, and ~ 0.1ml of carbon dioxide. There is 500ml of air in one breath, so the amount of air in the cup is approximately ²⁄³ of one breath.

Seconds to fill from a tap
It takes approximately 16 seconds for a mid strength water flow to fill a 1L sized bottle of water. 1000 / 330 = 3.03. 16 / 3.03 = 5.28s.

One can of Coca Cola (330ml) was calculated to contain
18.9 million bubbles. Therefore, the same amount of bubbles would be in the mug if it was filled with carbonated water.

On average, the make up of seawater is 3.5% salt.
This means there is 3.5g of salt per 100ml of water.
Therefore 3.5 × 3.3 = 11.55g of salt in 330ml of water.
10.9g is about 2.5 teaspoons.

Time it takes to boil
1 cup of water was poured into an empty electric kettle. The time was taken from the moment the kettle was switched on until the water hit boiling point. This was 45 seconds.

Time it takes to boil dry
A boiling kettle was left open until all water evaporated.
This was 5 minutes.

Time it takes to cool
Taste-tested by two people and the average taken.

Number of Sips and Gulps
Small Sip = ~ 5 – 10ml, 7.5 average. 330 / 7.5 = 44 sips.
Gulp = ~ 25 – 40m; 32.5 average. 330 / 32.5 = 10.15 gulps.

Time to freeze
In a domestic freezer it takes 180 minutes (3 hours) to freeze 330ml of water.

Time to thaw
A typical ice cube contains about 11ml of water and it takes
12 minutes to melt at room temperature. The cup contains
(330 / 11 = 30) 30 ice cubes worth of water. 12 × 30 = 360 minutes.

Dairy cow
10ml per squeeze of each teat, 4 teats = 40ml.
It takes 20 seconds to squeeze 330ml worth of milk.

Area of spilt milk
2cl (20ml) of milk spills in a circle of diameter ~11cm.
Area of a circle = r2 = 95.03 = 95cm2. 330/20 = 16.5.
16.5 × 95cm2 = 1,567.5cm2 = 15.68m2.

Kitchen towel
1 mug of milk was spilt onto a wooden floor. It took 18 sheets of Plenty kitchen towel to mop up.

Feeding babies
If a baby nurses 8 times a day, it needs about 85ml of milk / feeding. 100g of powdered milk makes 1L of milk. 330g of powdered milk will make 3.3L of milk. 3300ml / 85ml = 38.8.

One Pampers nappy absorbs 83ml of liquid before starting to leak. It would take ~¼ (25.15 %) of the mug to fill a Pampers nappy.

Soap bubble
The thickness of our bubble is around 100nm, and it
contains 330ml of liquid. 1ml = 1cm3, and 100nm = 0.00001cm.
The surface area of our bubble, therefore, is
330 / 0.00001 = 33,000,000cm2. The surface area of a sphere = 4πr2, so to find r (the radius):
4πr2 = 33,000,000
r2 = 33,000,000 / 4π
r2 = 2,626,056.5601
r = 1620.5112
Diameter = 2r , so the diameter of our
sphere = 2 × 1620.5112 = ~ 3,241cm
1m = 100cm, so the diameter = 32.41m

According to, a moderate nose bleed can release up to 300ml of blood, enough to almost fill our cup to its full capacity.

We sweat out on average between 500ml and 700ml of water
in a day. However, a trained athlete exercising on a hot day can sweat at a rate of 1L / hour when doing prolonged exercise. Therefore it would take 20 minutes of constant rigorous exercise on a hot day for a healthy athlete to fill up the mug with sweat.

Tear drops
There are 0.05ml of water in one tear drop. A nice, solid, several minute sob produces about 30 tears (or 2ml) worth of water. Therefore, it would take 165 people simultaneously sobbing while watching E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial to fill the cup with tears.

Swimming pool
The correct amount of chlorine in a swimming pool is 1 gallon of chlorine per 10,000 gallons of water. An Olympic swimming pool contains 500,000 imperial gallons of water, and therefore 50 gallons of chlorine. 1 imperial gallon = 4.55 litres, so there are 227.5 litres of chlorine in an Olympic pool. The mug would fill 330 / 227,500 = 0.0015 = 0.15 % or ¹⁄667 of an Olympic pool with the correct amount of chlorine.

A typical monsoon produces around 300mm of rain in 24 hours. The height of the cup is 9cm = 90mm 300 / 90 = 3.33;
24 / 3.33 = 7.2. The mug would fill up in just over 7 hours.

Water evaporation
The very simplest answer is that on average, water evaporates from the earth’s surface at ¹⁄8 of an inch per day.
¹⁄8 × 2.5 = 0.3125cm. 9cm / 0.3125 = 28.8 Days.

Cumulus cloud
Scientists have measured that there is, on average, around
½ gram of water per cubic meter of cumulus cloud. Our cup
holds 330g of water. Therefore, the size of the cumulus cloud would amount to 330 / 0.5 = 660 cubic meters. To make this number more friendly, a rectangle of this size would be approximately 10m × 10m × 6.6m. This equates to the average size of a 3 bedroom family home.

Olive oil
One litre of olive oil uses 1,375 olives.
330ml of olive oil uses 454 olives.

Decant olive oil
A full cup of olive oil was decanted back into the bottle.
It took 3 minutes and 8 seconds. The timer was stopped when
10 seconds was reached between each drip because Alex’s
arm was aching.

Espresso shots
One espresso shot = 30ml. 330ml = 11 espresso shots.

0.05ml per eye drop. 330 / 0.05 = 6,600 eye-drops.

The amount of bleach
A hair bleaching packet is 45g, or 0.88oz. 330 / 45 = 7.3.
A mug full of bleach is enough to completely dye 7 people’s hair.

A candle burns at the rate of 8 hours per ounce of wax.
One ounce = 28.4ml, so our cup can hold 330 / 28.4 = 11.61 ounces of wax, and burn for 11.61 × 8 = 92.95 = 93 hours.

Methylated spirits burn time
Methylated spirits burn at a rate of 35 minutes per 100ml. Therefore our mug, filled with methylated spirits will burn for
35 × 3.3 = 115.5 minutes. Nearly two hours.

Ethanol in beer
Beer has, on average, 4.5 % alcohol content. One pint of beer will have 550 × 0.045 = 24.75ml of alcohol. Our mug holds enough ethanol for 330 / 24.75 = 13.333 = 13 pints of beer.

Grapes in wine
There are, on average, 350 grapes in each 750ml bottle of wine. 750/330 = 2.27.350 / 2.27 = 154.2. Our mug holds 154 grapes worth of wine.

Bees / Honey
An average worker bee makes ¹⁄12 of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime. ¹⁄12 of a teaspoon = 0.493ml.
350 / 0.493 = 669.3; 670 bees, over a period of 120 – 150 days (one bee lifetime) are needed to fill up the mug with honey. 20,000 – 80,000 worker bees in a hive, so you would need at least 3.4 % of the hive.

Maple Syrup
About 20 – 25 gallons of sap are produced/season; 40 – 50 gallons of sap to produce gallon of syrup.
1 gallon/2 trees = 0.5 gallon of maple syrup per tree / season.
1 gallon = 4546.09ml. 4546.09 / 2 = 2273.045.
2273.045 / 330 = 6.8.14% of a maple trees season.

Hand soap
Tested by hand. 181 squirts.

Rugby Kit Clean
A man’s rugby kit weighs about 675g. There are 15 players in a rugby team, which totals 10.125kg of kit weight. You should use about 17ml of laundry detergent per 4kg load of laundry. (10.125 / 4) × 17 = 43.03. You need 43ml of laundry detergent for a full rugby team’s kit. 330 / 43 = 7.67. Our mug can hold enough detergent for nearly 8 rugby teams’ kits.

A small perfume-like fine mist sprayer produces 0.2ml of liquid per spray. Let’s assume that a Windolene bottle produces
10 times as much spray as a small mist sprayer. It would take
165 sprays from a Windolene bottle to fill up the mug.

Tattoo ink
The average amount of tattoo ink applied is 0.025ml / cm2 of skin. The average surface area of human skin is 175cm2.
175 × 0.025 = 4.375. You need 4.4ml of ink to tattoo the
entirety of a human body. 330ml of ink would cover 330 / 4.4 = 75 human bodies.

Garage door
A standard garage door is 8ft × 7ft = 56 square feet = 5.2 square meters. 1 litre of paint will cover 12 square meters per coat. Therefore, 330ml of paint will cover 4 square meters, nearly a whole garage door.

Coco Chanel
A 100ml bottle of Coco Chanel perfume costs £105.
330ml of the perfume will therefore cost £346.50.

Nail polish
One bottle of nail polish is ~15ml, and contains 175 coatings of nail polish. 330ml of nail polish, therefore, is enough for 3,850 coatings. Each person has 10 fingernails and 10 toenails, so the bottle holds enough nail polish for 3850 / 20 = 192.5 = 193 people. In August 2017, there were 193 members of the UN.

1g of gold is approximately 0.052ml. The cup holds
330 / 0.052 = 6,346.2g = 6.35kg of gold. The current price of gold / kg = £30,717.46. The amount of gold in the cup is worth 6.35 × 30,717.46 = £195,055.9 = ~ £195,000.

Dishwasher full
Tried and tested by hand. 44 cups.

Dishwasher water
The average dishwasher cycle uses 6 gallons of water.
1 gallon = 4546ml; 6 gallons = 27,276. 27,276 / 330 = 82.65.

Weight when empty
The weight of a standard Cambridge mug is 215g.

Weight when full
The weight of the empty cup is 215g. The weight of the cup when filled with water is 545g, meaning its contents weigh more than the cup itself.

Mug drop
Based on three mugs dropped at table height. The mugs broke into 2, 4 and 3 pieces. Making the average 3 pieces.

External surface
The artwork area was 185 × 70mm. It comfortably fits 593 words at 8pt in Helvetica within this area.