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The following are thirteen interesting (supposed) facts about the number thirteen. I found these on the internet and have not confirmed the truth behind them.
- It is estimated that the fear of Friday the 13th afflicts between 17-21 million people in the USA alone.
- The state lotteries of France and Italy in particular, never sell tickets with that number printed on it.
- In Scotland, the number 13 is known as the Devil’s dozen.
- The registration of Princess Mary’s birth on that particular day was delayed on purpose so she would not be entered as number 13.
- All around the world, there are a certain major hospitals who will go out of their way not to label any of their operating theatres with the dreaded number 13. This is interesting as the health industry is supposed to be based upon the practicalities of science and not upon religious superstitions.
- You may remember the disaster that befell NASA’s space shuttle, Apollo 13. Did you know that Apollo 13 left our planet on the 13th hour? An explosion in the fuel cells of the service module severely crippled the spacecraft. The number 13 may have brought good luck for the 3 Astronauts who returned safety to earth on Friday 17 April 1970.
- Staying with NASA for the moment – this multimillion dollar corporation was forced to cancel a space launch scheduled to lift off on Friday 13 November 1981, due to a problem with fuel cells.
- Numerologists consider the number 12 as being a complete number, as there are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of both the eastern and western zodiacs, 12 Gods of Olympus, the 12 Labours of Hercules, the 12 Apostles and the 12 Tribes of Israel. To exceed this number by one is to go beyond completeness and perfection.
- Have you ever wondered why at school as young children, we were never allowed to learn our multiplication tables beyond the number 12?
- It is very unlucky to have a dinner table set for 13 people. It is believed that the first person to leave the table will die within a year. Some people believe the death of Jesus proves this.
- In modern day Wicca, thirteen is considered the maximum size of a coven, and in some traditions is the ideal number of members, and there are also 13 goals of a witch. (Now I REALLY don't like the number 13! Too bad for my DH who was born on the 13th.)
- In Judaism, 13 signifies the age of maturity (bar mitzvah) for boys
- The number on a Hell's Angel's patch or tattoo that refers to the thirteenth letter of the alphabet, M, for "marijuana"