Duckpower: Everything You Should Know

by Conner Mckay

We are all familiar with the term horsepower. It is used to measure the power of your car engine. That much is known by everyone. But you might ask yourself, what exactly is a duckpower? Did we now turn to ducks to measure the power of the engines in our cars? If so, how do you calculate the duckpower of your car?

We have a lot of questions that need to be answered. For the last few years, a lot of people have been talking about duckpower and using it as an alternate unit to help measure the horsepower of a car engine. Now to convert the horsepower of your car to duckpower, all you need is some simple math. It is nothing too complicated and you can easily figure out how many ducks you have gone under the hood of that car.

How To Convert Horsepower To Duckpower

When it comes to converting the horsepower to duckpower, the math is pretty simple. All that you need to do is take the figure of horsepower on your car and just multiply that figure by 131.2. If you are confused as to why you need to do that, it is because it was calculated that compared to a duck, the mass of a horse is 131.1 times more.

It is obviously quite visible that a horse is much bigger than a duck. All that was needed to do was decide exactly how much bigger an average horse is than an average duck and just settle down on a figure that is going to be definitive.


Now if you think about this for a bit, we can easily do something like this with any other animal as well. As long as we can all agree on something, which is how the mass of that specific animal is related to the mass of a horse.

As long as you know the mass of an animal about the mass of a horse that is a settled figure, you can also calculate the power of your car engine to be any type of animal power you want, such as snake power, share power, or even dog power!

What Exactly Is A Horsepower?

The most basic explanation of horsepower is that it measures the amount of power that is produced by the engine in your car or just your motor vehicle in general. If we are going more into the specifics, horsepower means the amount of power that you would need to 550 pounds a distance of a foot in a minute. The rate that it takes to do this work gauges the power.

When it comes to measuring the power output of an engine, it makes a lot more sense to use horsepower because we replaced horses, our main means of transportation and getting around, with the internal combustion engines. When you are trying to get someone to accept and adapt to a new way of doing things, you need to show them the exact reason why it is better than what they are already using.

James Watt And Horsepower

Horsepower is a term that was coined by James Watt. He had created this form of arbitrary measurement unit to represent the number of horses it would take to replace a steam engine.


Hence when it was time to make people switch to a van or a car from a horse cart the best way was to show them that the engine that they were offered was equivalent to riding a car pulled by 10 horses at the same time.

Has it ever occurred to you why people use horsepower to measure the output of an engine instead of something else? Of course, there are those countries that use PS and KWs as alternate measurement units, but even the people of those countries rarely use those because they are just hard to understand. Even those people tend to stick with the more commonly used horsepower.

Keep In Mind…

Something that you should keep in mind, however, is that an engine that says it has 100 horsepower does not mean that it does provide you with the same energy as 100 horses. It is more like a reliable and convenient way for people to easily understand the power of an engine when it is being compared with another.

The metric measurement units, PS and KWs do the same thing as horsepower, which helps us understand the output power of an engine, but people tend to stick with horsepower as it is a term that is more familiar and relatable.

What Is Duckpower And Where Did It Come From?

The world is now revolving around the internet. People are on YouTube watching videos for hours. So this might not come as a big shock, that duckpower is a term that came from a YouTube video. Yes, that is right, the crazy idea of a duckpower is from YouTube.

The video that came up with this idea was created by the channel called Art of Engineering. In that video, they used a sort of law, called Kleiber’s Law, to help them calculate how one horsepower relates to one duckpower. In that video, the full equation that they used in Kleiber’s law is quite complicated and it even has symbols in it that you probably will not find on your phone or computer keyboard.

Kleiber’s Conclusion

If you want to get a bit nerdy, then what we are trying to say here is that Max Kleiber concluded back in the 1930s. He concluded that an animal’s metabolic rate or rate of consumption, is going to be almost equal to its mass if you multiply the figure of mass by the ¾ power. This might clear things out a little bit more for you.

Let’s say, for instance, there is a cat with a mass that is 100 times the mass of a mouse. Even though the mass of the cat is 100 times that of the mouse, it will still consume just around 32 times the amount of energy that is consumed by the mouse.

The YouTube video then went on to divide the mass of a duck by the mass of a horse, and then they applied Kleiber’s law of that result to find out that one horsepower is equal to 131.2 duckpower.

Comparing Horsepower To Duckpower

Okay so now that we have a better understanding of what a duck power is and the differences it has with horsepower, let’s take a look at a more real-life example.

If you were to look at the Dodge Challenger Hellcat, which is a beast in the shape of a muscle car, it has a ludicrously powerful engine that is capable of producing an output of 707 horsepower. If you wanted to make things a bit more interesting, you could also say that the Hellcat by Dodge can produce an output of 92,758.4 duckpower.


Just that number sounds a lot more impressive than just 707. Well, that is till you add the duckpower at the end instead of horsepower. Then it just sounds a little dumb and ridiculous.

Now, what if you like aardvarks more than ducks? What if you wanted to rate the power of the engine in your car in aardvark instead? We got you covered. Since an aardvark is 140 pounds on average, the Dodge Challenger Hellcat would have a whopping 3,333 aardvarkpower right under the hood.

How Much Duckpower Does The Most Powerful Car Have?

If you are using duckpower to go and brag about the power of your car, it will only work till a certain point. People with even more powerful cars will catch up to it and match the conversation. So what about the most powerful car in the world? Have you wondered how much duckpower that would have?

Well, let’s take a look at the most powerful car in the world first. The only production car to exist that can claim such a bold title is the Aspark Owl. Now this car is already able to generate an output of 1,985 horsepower. The horsepower of this car is already almost in the 2000s. If you were to convert that to duckpower, you would get a whopping total of 260,432. That certainly sounds a lot better and goes more with the aggressive look of the car.

However, why stop at duckpower? The car is already named after a bird, an owl. Let’s measure the low power of this car since it would be a lot more fitting. Converting 1,985 horsepower to owl power would give you a total of 310,156 owl power. This number is a lot more fitting for the Aspark Owl.

How To Calculate The Duckpower Of Your Car?

This is something that should be fairly easy for you at this point since the formula is already given to you. Yes, it is 1 Horsepower = 131.2 Duckpower. As long as you follow this formula, it is just basic math to convert the horsepower of your car to duckpower.

For example, let’s say that you drive a Toyota Prius Hybrid. The Prius hybrid has a horsepower of 134. Then the duckpower of the Prius is going to be 134 x 131.2 = 17,580.8 duckpower.

Performance specifications metric measurement

On the other hand, if you own and drive a Bugatti Chiron Sport that comes in with a massive horsepower of 1479, you will get an output of 1,94,044.8 duckpower out of the car. You can easily calculate the duckpower of any car in this way.

As long as you have the mass of an animal you can easily convert the horsepower of a car into whatever animal you are interested in checking out.

For instance, if you take a look at a blue whale, the average mass of a blue whale is around 310,000 pounds. Just put that figure into the equation that you have and you will end up with 49.5. What this means is that 1 while power is equal to around 49.5 horsepower.

Now let’s take a look at a Mustang GT. If you convert the horsepower of that car to whale power, you end up with just 5 whale power. It sounds quite silly if you tell someone that the engine of your car outputs a power of 5 whale power, but it still stands for entertainment.

Is Horsepower Any Good?

This is a question that mainly depends on the person that you ask. As you can already tell from everything that we have mentioned above, calculating the energy output of the engine of a car in comparison to horses is not ideal.

This is because if you can calculate the energy output of your car engine then you can also calculate the same energy output using a bunch of different animals. Any animal that interests you. This is exactly what makes horsepower a very inefficient way of calculating the power produced by an engine.

Moreover, with all of the things we have discussed duckpower, and the calculations of other animals, anyone can tell that horsepower is not a scientific term that is used to measure the power of an engine. You do not find horses coming in the same mass or size, which does make you somewhat wonder why we even use horsepower, to begin with.

It is more so used nowadays because people have grown used to it and you see HP or Horsepower assigned to specs of the power in an engine of every car. The industry is already stuck with it and is not letting go of that anytime soon even though it was mainly just used as a metaphor.

The Burning Question

You might ask why don’t car manufacturers just use kilowatts instead of horsepower when they are listing the specs of their cars? Well, it has something to do with the subconscious bias of the customers. People will not just love bigger numbers, but also something that they can easily relate to.

Take a look at this, for example, if you have a motor that produces a power of 10 HP, people are going to love that number a lot more than if you tell them that the motor produces a power output of 7.35499 kW. To be fair the number in kW does not look that appealing either. This is exactly the reason why car manufacturers list the specs on their engines as horsepower instead.

Yeah, the measurement unit might be primitive (around 200 years old) but you have to admit one thing. This measuring unit does get the cars sold and people love boasting about how much horsepower their car has.

What Is The Point Of Duckpower?

As you can tell, the terms horsepower, duckpower, or even whale power for that matter are not scientifically accurate. Duckpower was not made to be a replacement for the already existing horsepower either. None of those terms accurately tell the power output of a car engine.


The main point of duckpower in our opinion is that it was meant to show that if you wanted to, you could easily change the horsepower of your car and replace it with any other animal of your liking. It is not a term meant to be taken seriously or be used when listing the specs of a car. This would sound ridiculous if you were to go up to someone and tell them the specs of your car engine and then you just say that it has a power output of 50,000 duckpower. It does sound quite funny and silly.

Duckpower is mainly used as a form of entertainment and as a funny joke when you are talking about it with your friends. That is mostly all that it is. Apart from that, duckpower has no other use. It is not a proper way to calculate the energy output of your car.

What Does All Of This Mean?

While the idea of duckpower is fun and now that the internet has caught on to it is trending all over, it is still just a silly idea. There is not much legitimacy to this idea and people should not be buying into this. All the calculations for duckpower, shark power, while power, and more, are all just for fun.

Silliness aside, this does shed a light on how primitive and ineffective a measurement of horsepower is. We would suggest that you stop looking at an engine and compare its power output to an animal. Instead, if you want to know how much the engine of your car is worth, you need to use a measuring unit or system that is scientifically accurate and valid.

This is because horses are available in different sizes just like every other animal that you can think of unless you can find several horses that have the same mass and size, which is just impossible.

Dig Deeper

Remember the aardvark that we used earlier? We calculated the mass of an aardvark to be 140 pounds on average, but if you look it up on Google, it says that the average mass of an aardvark ranges anywhere from 88 to up to 140 pounds. When you do a similar search for horses, you will find that horses have an average weight of around 660 pounds. However, what about Shetland Pony, does that also weigh 660 pounds, or what about a Shire Horse?

Performance specifications metric measurement calculator

What we are trying to say is that compared to all these terms, including horsepower, of course, the better way to quantify the power of a car engine is to use mathematical constants such as Pferdestarke (PS) or kilowatts (kW). This is better because no one can argue about one kilowatt or one Pferdestarke being larger or smaller than another kilowatt or Pferdestarke.

Even though there are people who know this and agree with this and they even live in countries where using the metric system is mandated by law and it is illegal to use imperial measurements in commercials, these people will still use horsepower to talk about the power output of a car engine.

To be fair, even we would. Even though we completely agree that the fair measurement of the engine of a car is only done when you use the proper mathematical constants to calculate them, we will still go with horsepower because it is just more relatable and helps people understand a lot better. People do not just understand that term better, but they do like it better as well.

Final Words

Duckpower vs. Horsepower is a funny and silly debate going on over the Internet and it is nothing more than just another silly Internet trend. There is no legitimacy or credibility to using duckpower to properly measure the power of your car engine. We hope this was helpful to you and helped you understand this whole situation better!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are a bunch of frequently asked questions about duckpower and things relating to it.

1. Is Duckpower Officially Used As A term Of Measurements?

No, it is not used as a term of measurement officially. It is something that was just coined for the fun of it. It is something that you can use with your friends and have a laugh about it.

2. Does Having More Duckpower Than Horsepower Mean The Engine Is better?

You cannot have more duckpower than horsepower because all the math that was done to relate duckpower to horsepower was exactly to avoid that. The conversion of duckpower from horsepower or the other way around is done with the other kept in mind. So the amount of duckpower your engine has is equal to the amount of horsepower it has as well.

3. Why Don’t We Use kW Or PS To Measure The Power Output Of An Engine?

We do use kW and PS to measure the power output of a car engine. We just don’t use it on an everyday basis when we are telling someone the specs of our cars. The scientific constants, kW and PS are used to accurately measure the power output of a car engine.

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