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Absolute Unit refers to jokes made on Twitter in which people caption images of large objects or people with a variation on the phrase, "In awe at the size of this lad. Absolute unit."
On December 13th, 2017, Twitter user @mrreptoid uploaded a picture of British hotelier David Morgan-Hewitt posing with the Queen of England. He captioned the photo "In awe at the size of this lad. Absolute unit," referring to Morgan-Hewitt. "Absolute" is a British slang term used in so-called "lad culture" to mean "total" (e.g. Absolute Madman). The tweet gained over 3,500 retweets and 13,000 likes (shown below).
The phrase began seeing use as a caption to pictures of various other large objects and people in the following days. Most notably, it was used by journalist David Roth on December 22nd to describe Wyatt Koch after video of him advertising his brand of shirts went viral. Roth's tweet gained over 810 retweets and 2,500 likes.
By the beginning of 2018, the phrase began seeing use in a number of popular tweets. For example, on January 2nd, 2018, Twitter user @baucesauce used it to describe a large Pikachu stuffed animal, gaining over 5,000 retweets and 18,000 likes (shown below, left). On January 5th, user @Papapishu used the phrase to describe a large snowman, gaining over 2,000 retweets and 10,000 likes (shown below, right).
The spread of the jokes led to coverage by The Daily Dot, as well as an inquiry about the phrase posted to Reddit's /r/OutOfTheLoop.
Museum of English Rural Life Tweet
On April 9th, 2018, The Museum of English Rural Life Twitter feed posted a photograph of a ram along with the caption "Look at this absolute unit" (shown below). Within 72 hours, the tweet, which was submitted by the museum's program manager Adam Koszary, gained over 98,000 likes and 27,600 retweets.
The following day, the Twitter feed posted a follow-up tweet featuring a photograph of a pink index card containing information about the ram (shown below). Also 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.
Elon Musk's Tweet
On April 17th, MIT Technology Review tweeted an article about the world's biggest airplane calling it an "absolute unit" and Elon Musk  responded by tweeting, "I’m an absolute unit too" with a picture of the Museum of English Rural Life ram picture (shown below). His response gained over 6,000 retweets and 60,400 likes in a day.
That same day, Twitter user @Bryson_M responded to Musk by saying, "Make this your profile pic" which received over 2,100 likes and 30 retweets (shown below).
Musk almost immediately changed his profile picture to the ram adding the words "absolūt unit" in his bio (shown below). After noticing the change of profile picture, The Museum of English Rural Life changed their profile picture to Elon Musk and change the page name to The Muskeum of Elonglish Rural Life (shown below, right).
Following the excitement of Musks interaction with the photo, @TheMERL posted numerous tweets relating to Musk like, "Can we put a sheep into space in a car now please it's 2019" which gained 4,700 likes in a day (shown below, left) and "We've invented electric sheep and they're called Teslewe and they cost 12000 of your English pounds" (shown below, right) which accumulated over 4,700 likes.
Tesla's Social Media Manager
On May 21st, 2019, Adam Koszary, who previously published the The Museum of English Rural Life "absolute unit" tweet, tweeted an announcement that he had been hired as the "Social Media Manager" for Elon Musk's automotive company Tesla (shown below).
Meanwhile, a news article about the Tesla hire was submitted to the /r/teslamotors subreddit. In the coming days, several news sites published articles about the announcement, including The Guardian, The Financial Times and The Daily Dot.
 Twitter – @David_j_roth
 Twitter – @BauceSauce
 Twitter – @Papapishu
 The Daily Dot – Why big lads are ‘absolute units’ now
 /r/OutOfTheLoop – What's the deal with this "absolute unit" thing?
 The Museum of English Rural Life – The History Behind an Absolute Unit
 Twitter – Bernarddonoghue
 Reddit – /r/teslamotors
 The Guardian – Elon Musk hires man behind absolute unit sheep meme to run Tesla's social media
 The Financial Times – Teslas Elon Musk hires Brit after absolute unit tweet
 The Daily Dot – Elon Musk hires absolute unit sheep meme creator to be Teslas social media manager
Jan 08, 2018 at 12:13PM EST
Get PILLS, against my orders
Jan 08, 2018 at 11:01AM EST
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