The US may have adopted the metric system if pirates hadn’t kidnapped Joseph Dombey, the French scientist sent to help Thomas Jefferson persuade Congress to adopt the system.

Pirates of the Caribbean (Metric Edition)

To save his own life, Joseph Dombey had an idea. As two pirate ships surrounded the ship he was on in the Caribbean Sea in 1794, Dombey scrambled below deck, disrobing as he went. He appropriated the outfit of one of the ship’s many Spanish sailors and prayed that he had picked up enough of their language during his trips to South America to blend in. Dombey shouldn’t have been in this position. In fact, he shouldn’t have been in the Caribbean at all. None other than Thomas Jefferson himself was expecting to meet with Dombey in Philadelphia at that very moment.

Dombey’s fate that day arguably delayed the adoption of the metric system in the United States by almost a century and left us as one of the few countries in the world still usin… Continue Reading

Source: https://www.nist.gov/blogs/taking-measure/pirates-caribbean-metric-edition