Twenty Three

Today is the 23rd day in January. The number 23 is significant. It is one of the most commonly cited prime numbers. Twenty three is the lowest prime that consists of consecutive digits. Primes have been described as the building blocks of the world of numbers.

The number has been the subject of not one but two films: the 1998 German movie, 23, and The Number 23, starring my favourite actor, Jim Carrey.
That’s not the weird part. There seem to be several happenings associated with the number. Mostly bad.

Did you know that every person has 46 chromosomes, 23 from each parent?

That the tilt of the Earth’s axis is 23 degrees?

The date Titanic sank – 4/15/1912: 4+1+5+1+9+1+2=23

Two divided by three makes 0.666 recurring (allegedly – actually it makes 0.6666666667).

The Hiroshima bomb was dropped at 8.15am – 8+15= 23

Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species was published in 1859 – 1+8+5+9 = 23.

Weird huh?
The Ancient Chinese believed that numbers conveyed sexuality – evens for feminine and odds for masculine. They considered prime numbers to be the most masculine, conferring special status on 23 which is made up of two consecutive prime numbers and the only even prime number – two.

Wait, there’s even more:
The terrorist attacks on the U.S on 11 September 2001 have been held up as one of the most portentous examples of the disturbing power of 23. The figures in the date (9+11+2+0+0+1) add up to 23.

In the disaster movie, Airport, the bomber has seat 23.

The number of crosses on Calvary at the end of the Monty Python film, The Life of Brian, is 23.

In Die Hard With A Vengeance, a train derails in subway station 23.

The lead characters in the Coen brothers’ film The Big Lebowski always used Lane 23 at the bowling alley.

In the television series Lost, one of the combination of six numbers that haunt the characters and they have to input to a computer to avoid an unknown fate is 23.

The Nobel Prize-winning economist, John Forbes Nash, who was the subject of the film, A Beautiful Mind, starring Russell Crowe, was obsessed with 23. It featured prominently in his battle with mental illness.

One of the few good things about the number 23 is that my birthday falls in January, on the 23rd day.
I bet that gave you the hibbidyjibbies.




Coined from


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s