"Absolute unit" refers to jokes made on the Internet in which people caption images of large objects or beings with a variation on the phrase, "In awe at the size of this lad. Absolute unit." I know, this explanation sounds a bit clunky, but it's the best one I came up with. However, I assure you that the pictures are way better than my description of them. Whether it's a 67lb cabbage or a squirrel who has eaten 3 jack-o'-lanterns, I bet you didn't even know things can get so huge! Eventually, the meme got so popular, it even spawned a subreddit of the same name. And it's an absolute unit. Here are some of its top posts.
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Internet meme database 'Know Your Meme' considers 2017 to be the origin of 'absolute unit'. Then, Twitter user @mrreptoid uploaded a picture of British hotelier David Morgan-Hewitt posing with the Queen of England and captioned it "In awe at the size of this lad. Absolute unit," referring to Morgan-Hewitt. The tweet gained over 3,500 retweets and 13,000 likes but the account it was shared from eventually got suspended for unknown reasons.
The meme really took off on April 9th, 2018, when The Museum of English Rural Life tweeted a photograph of a ram along with the caption "Look at this absolute unit". Within 72 hours, the tweet, which was submitted by the museum's program manager Adam Koszary, accumulated over 98,000 likes and 27,600 retweets.
The following day, the museum posted a follow-up tweet, featuring a photograph of a pink index card containing information about the ram. Then, on April 10th, The Museum of English Rural Life published an article titled "The History Behind an Absolute Unit," which provided additional information about the ram.
A week later, MIT Technology Review tweeted an article about the world's biggest airplane calling it an "absolute unit" and Elon Musk responded by saying, "I'm an absolute unit too" with a picture of the before-mentioned Museum of English Rural Life ram picture. His response gained over 6,000 retweets and 60,400 likes in just a single day, cementing 'absolute unit' in Internet history.
Interestingly, that same day, Twitter user @Bryson_M dared Musk by saying, "Make this your profile pic" and the business magnate almost immediately changed his profile picture to the ram, adding the words "absolūt unit" in his bio. After noticing the change, The Museum of English Rural Life changed their profile picture to Elon Musk and renamed its account to The Muskeum of Elonglish Rural Life. To top it all off, Elon Musk has reportedly hired Koszary, the man responsible for the viral tweet about a giant sheep, to be Tesla’s social media manager.