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!

#01 – The Answer

By | The Number 42

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.

#03 – Marathon

By | The Number 42

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.

#04 – Jackie Robinson

By | The Number 42

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.

#07 – Level 42

By | The Number 42

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.

#10 – TIFF

By | The Number 42

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!

#11 – Oil

By | The Number 42

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.

#12 – Claudius

By | The Number 42

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.

#14 – Presidents

By | The Number 42

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.

#15 – Rainbow

By | The Number 42

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.

#20 – Guinness

By | The Number 42

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”.

#22 – 42 Judges

By | The Number 42

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.

#26 – Czechoslovakia

By | The Number 42

+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.

#27 – Cricket

By | The Number 42

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.

#28 – Shakespeare

By | The Number 42

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…

#29 – CERN

By | The Number 42

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.

#30 – Tower 42

By | The Number 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.

#32 – Music

By | The Number 42

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!

#34 – 42nd Street

By | The Number 42

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.

#36 – Lost

By | The Number 42

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.

#41 – Alcatraz

By | The Number 42

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.

#42 – High Five!

By | The Number 42

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!