Science Club
  1. Does Black Bark Mulch Help Keep Moisture in the Soil?
  2. How Much Water does a Fountain Use?
  3. Find your Body Surface Area
  4. How Fast do French Fries Cool Down?
  5. My Year of Coincidences
  6. Which Firework is the Loudest?
  7. Cost to store a VHS tape in a NYC apartment?
  8. Guess Your Blood Alcohol Level Booth
  9. Find the Loudest Restaurant in Sacramento
  10. How Much do Clothes Weigh?
  11. Trying to Make Clear Ice
  12. Searching the Indian Ocean for a Plane Crash
  13. Electronic Cigarettes - The Fog Machine for Your Face
  14. Scott Leased an Electric Ford Focus
  15. Testing the Effectiveness of a Beer Cozy
  16. Eggshells vs. Taco Shells
  17. How Ice Rinks are Made
  18. Shaken vs. Stirred
  19. Real Appliance Energy Use Tests
  20. Christmas Lights Power Cost
  21. The Best Cold Drink Cup
  22. LED vs. Regular Bulbs & CFLs
  23. Coldest drink in town?
  24. Using Salt to Cool Down Beer
  25. Coors Light Cold Indicator
  26. The Fastest Way to Cool Down Beer
  27. Hairdryer vs. Bowl of Water
  28. Bathroom During a Movie?
  29. Video Projector on a Disco Ball
  30. Cool Trunk
  31. The weight of popcorn
  32. Sunchips bag decomposition
  33. Disscating a cockroach
  34. Sensefly Drone Camera
  35. Entrance Locked
  36. End Rubbernecking
  37. Eyeclops Night Vision
  38. Miracle Fruit Taste Test
  39. Hot Air Bubbles
  40. Helium Bubbles
  41. Neighborhood Speed Trap
  42. Pizza Race
  43. Eyeclops - Bionic Magnifier
  44. Breathalyzer Testing
  45. Fishing Line Fiberoptics
  46. The Value of CFL Bulbs
  47. Barry Marshall Fan Page
  48. Bottling the Keg Leftovers
  49. Spinning Rim Centrifuge
  50. Backwash Experiments
  51. sidewalk chalk
  52. Red Hot Vioxx Action!
  53. Balloon Delivery
  54. Tanning
  55. Making a Candle Out of Lipstick
  56. Evaporation
  57. The lift of a Helium Balloon
  58. Lard Candle
  59. The Properties of Heat Transfer
  60. Insulation Testing
  61. Eating Out
  62. Eating In
  63. Tattoo Removal
  64. Drying Laundry
  65. Viscosity Testing
  66. Magazine Advertising
  67. Collecting Data
  68. Dropping Toast
  69. Refilling an Ink Cartridge
  70. Tampons
  71. Light Bulbs

How much is Inside?
Community & Citizenship
Height Weight Chart
Science Club
Incredible Stuff
How To Guides


How Much is a Drop in the Bucket?

It is a term meaning a tiny fraction of the total. But it doesn't neccessarily have to be an unknown tiny fraction. After all, I've got a bucket. Let's pin this down.

I turned a streaming water faucet down to a drip, then counted drips as they filled a tablespoon.

It is possible that drops come in different sizes, but these were natural, gravity-formed water drops. They were nearly identical.

Forty drops fit into the tablespoon.
If the term was "just a drop in the tablespoon", it would mean 1/40th, or 2.5%.

A tablespoon is half of one ounce, and a gallon is 128 ounces, so a gallon is 256 tablespoons by volume.
Therefore "a drop in a gallon" is 1/40th over 256 or 1/10,240th.


Buckets vary in size, but a popular size is 3 gallons.

A drop in a bucket is 1/10,240th over 3, or 1/30,720th

A food service bucket, or hardware store bucket is typically 5 gallons. This is considered to be the largest human-portable size for a bucket.

If this is your idea of a "bucket", a drop in the bucket is 1/51,200.

The term "drop in a bucket" originates before the advent of the 5 gallon plastic bucket, so I'm going to consider the 3 gallon bucket as the default bucket size for this phrase. This makes a big difference.

A drop in the bucket is one thirty-thousand seven hundred and twentieth. That's 0.0032% or 1/30,720th.

To find a drop in a bucket of anything, divide by 30,720.


The 2013 Federal budget for the USA is $3.5 trillion, so a drop in this bucket is $115,201,823.
(3,539,000,000,000 / 30,720)

The population of the USA is 314 million, so a drop in the bucket is 10,221 people.
(314,000,000 / 30,720)

There are two and a half million deaths per year in the US, so 82 deaths per year in the US are a drop in the bucket. That's a drop in the bucket of people who die in the US every year.
(2,500,000 / 30,720)

Distance across the US, from New York to Los Angeles, is 2,445 miles. A drop in the bucket is 420 feet.
(2,445 x 5,280 / 30,720)

There are 365 days in a year, a drop in the bucket is 17 minutes.
(365 x 24 x 60 / 30,720)

DUI in california is defined as .08% blood alcohol content (BAC). That's 1/1,250th of the blood volume, 0.128 ounces of a five-quart blood supply, or 25 drops in the bucket.


The Quest for a solid ice beer tray   Heat Transfer Experiments   Eyeclops Digital Magnifier   Trying to make hot air bubbles   Eyeclops Night Vision goggles   How to Eliminate Rubbernecking   My Homemade Speed Trap 
  • Photographic Height/Weight Chart
  • The Weight of Clothing
  • The Television Commercial Database

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