Forty-two facts about the number 42

Forty-two facts about the number 42.

Number 42 derives its name from one of the favourite books of the founders. It is our tribute to the genius of Douglas Adams. Read 42 fantastic facts about the most fascinating number here!

The one thing everyone should know about the number 42? It’s the
answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

Wolves and most adult dogs have 42 teeth.

A marathon course is 42 kilometres long. Well, 42,195 kilometres, to be precise. This exact distance was first introduced at the 1908 Olympics in London. By adding 195 metres, the race finished right in front of the Royal Box. It was never changed after that.

42 was the jersey number worn by Jackie Robinson, the first African-American player in Major League Baseball. Since 2007, all players wear jerseys with the number 42 on April 15th ("Jackie Robinson Day"). In 2013 his story was told in the movie ‘42’ starring Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers who signed him.

42 is the number of different cheeses featured in the sketch ‘Cheese shop’ by the legendary comedy group ‘Monty Python’.

42 is the atomic number of Molybdenum, a chemical element with symbol Mo.

Level 42 is an English pop rock band. Originally, the band was simply called ‘42’ after the joke from The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Their management added the word ‘level’ to the name. ‘Lessons in Love’ from 1986 became one of their biggest hits.

In an episode of The Simpsons, police chief Wiggum wakes up to a question aimed at him and replies "42!".

42 is a sphenic number. This is a number that is the product of three distinct prime numbers.

42 is used at the start of every TIFF-file (a file format used for image storage). The official TIFF specs tell us that "this value was chosen for its deep philosophical significance.". No need to explain that one to us!

A standard sized barrel of oil contains 42 US gallons. For those wondering how much that is: a US gallon is legally defined as 231 cubic inches. That’s about 3,8 litres.

In the year 42 AD, Claudius was emperor of the Roman Empire. He was appointed following the assassination of his nephew Caligula. Claudius was about fifty years old when he became emperor. During his reign the Empire began the conquest of Britain.

There are 42 dots on one pair of dice.

43 different men served as President of the USA before Donald Trump took office. And yet he is known as the 45th president. This has to do with Grover Cleveland serving two non-consecutive terms. He is therefore mentioned twice on the list; as number 22 and 24. The ‘real’ number 42 is George W Bush.

It is impossible for an observer to see a rainbow from water droplets at any angle other than 42 degrees from the direction opposite the light source.

The book " Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland " by Lewis Carroll contained exactly 42 illustrations. The author also makes frequent use of the number 42 in the text.

42 is the favorite number of Dr. House from the series House MD.

42 is also the number of Buzz Lightyear’s ship from Toy Story.

Fox Mulders’ address on the series X-files is "Apartment 42 at 2630
Hegal Place, Alexandria, Virginia".

Dutch actor Rutger Hauer once starred in an advertisement for Guinness. He did that using the unusual slogan "It’s hard to put value to things, however this is 42".

42 is the name of a song on the album Viva La Vida by Coldplay.

Those who died in ancient Egypt were in for quite the spectacle. They had to answer to the 42 judges. Together with Osiris, these gods would decide if you had lived well enough to earn yourself a place in the afterlife. Lying to them was not the best idea; it would get you eaten by a crocodile-like goddess named Ammit.

Wolfram Alpha is not a search engine, but rather an ‘answer machine’. If you ask it "the answer to life the universe and everything" it will of course reply: 42! Incidentally, Google also does this.

The Gutenberg Bible is also known as the 42-line Bible, because each page has 42 lines on it. It was the first book in Europe to be printed using Gutenberg’s printing press.

’42’ was the title of an episode of Dr. Who, which had a running time of 42 minutes.

+42 was the country calling code used to place a call to Czechoslovakia. On 1 January 1993 the country was peacefully split into two new countries. Nowadays you call +420 for the Czech Republic and +421 for Slovakia.

There are 42 ‘Laws of cricket’. These are the generally accepted rules in cricket, which were first published on March 30, 1788 by the Marylebone Cricket Club in London.

In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Juliet drinks a special drink prepared ​​by Brother Lawrence, causing her to sleep for 42 hours, during which she will appear dead. Sadly, Romeo is not aware of this prolonged nap…

As a growing number of scientists at CERN began to struggle with a shortage of space, a new building was built to offer the clever boys and girls the room they need to work their magic. Its name? Building 42.

Another building with a proud 42 in its name is Tower 42: a skyscraper in London with 42 floors. In the 1980’s this 183 metre building was London’s tallest, nowadays it has to settle for a spot in the top fifteen.

The book of Revelation tells a rather unhappy tale of ‘the beast’ that will rule every tribe, people, language and nation for 42 months.

The three best-selling albums of all time (not counting compilation albums) are Michael Jackson’s Thriller, The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd and Back in Black by AC/DC. And guess what; all three have a playing time of 42 minutes!

There are 42 territories in the board game Risk. The game makes use of the map as it looked in Napoleon’s time.

42nd Street is home to some of the most important buildings in New York. From east to west, these include: the Chrysler Building, Grand Central Terminal, Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

42nd Street is also a musical. First performed in London in 1984, it has become a long-running block-buster hit.

The TV series Lost was packed with references to the number 42. It was the last number in the sequence of numbers that played a key role in the series. The number was frequently visible throughout various episodes, and the plane had 42 rows of seats.

On page 42 of the book ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, Harry finds out he is a wizard.

Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, passed away at age 42. He had 42 grandchildren. His great-grandson Edward VIII abdicated the throne when he was 42 years old.

Elvis Presley was 42 years old when he passed away.

Kepler-42, is a red dwarf located in the constellation Cygnus, approximately 126 light years from the Sun.

Robert Stroud, also known as "the Birdman of Alcatraz", was imprisoned on the island in 1942. His cell number: 42. After killing a prison guard, he spent 42 years in solitary confinement.

You have hereby read 42 facts about the number 42. One thing is certain: you’ll have plenty of interesting ‘hey – did you know..’ stories to share at your next office party. Douglas Adams would be proud. High five!

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