Thursday, April 10

50 Things You Might Want To Know About Your Favourite Number 7

7 the magic number

It's official (well sort of) that 7 is our favourite number.

A survey was carried out this week by the mathematician Alex Bellos. The poll was of 30,000 people and they confirmed that 7 is overwhelmingly our favourite number.

It's a little strange, but we do seem to have favourite numbers. Bellos said of this:

"When I give talks about maths and ask the audience if they have a favourite number, half stick up their hands. I suppose we are all a little bit obsessive compulsive. It's comforting to have a favourite number."

Not sure if I agree with that, but 7 does seem to pop up everywhere like ...

1. Japanese mythology talks of Shichifukujin - The Seven Gods of Fortune.

2.  There are 7 colours in a rainbow.

3. There are 7 days in a week.

4. The seven deadly sins - pride, avarice, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth.

5. Seven notes on a musical scale

6. Shakespeare's seven ages of man.

7. There are seven virtues - humility, liberality, chastity, kindness, abstinence, patience, and diligence.

8. Seven seas.

9. Seven continents.

Sinbad the Sailor
10. Sinbad the Sailor had 7 voyages.

11. There's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

12. There were 7 wonders of the ancient world.

13. If you break a mirror it is said you will have seven years bad luck.

14. According to the Talmud, the universe is made of seven Heavens.

15. The Qur'an frequently mentions the existence of seven (Samaawat), or heavens.

16. Vedic Hindu tradition tells us that the human body features seven basic chakras.

17. According to the Bible there were seven days of Creation - God rested on and sanctified the seventh day.

18. In Genesis 41 there were Seven years of plenty and seven years of famine in Pharaoh's dream.

19. The seventh son of a seventh son has magic powers, according to Irish folklore.

20. The city of Rome was built on seven hills - Palatine, Capitoline, Quirinal, Viminal, Esquiline, Caelian, and Aventine.

21. Seven days of blessings - Sheva Brachot - follow a traditional Jewish wedding.

22. Seven demons were driven out of Mary Magdelene - Luke 8:2.

23. There are seven books in J.K Rowling's Harry Potter series.

24. According to Buddhism, Buddha walked 7 steps at his birth.

25. Mammals have 7 cervical vertebrae.

26. In both the Challenger and Columbia NASA space shuttle disasters, seven astronauts were killed.

27. The Seven Sisters is a series of chalk cliffs on the East Sussex coast, England.

28. There is the 'seven-year itch' when a man is said to have the urge to roam after seven years of marriage.

29. Ian Fleming decided on 007 for James Bond.

30. Seven Sages Of The Bamboo Grove.

31. 7 was considered a God number in ancient Egypt.

32. Seven is the optimum number of hours of sleep for humans, according to a US scientific study.

33. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son was the seventh studio album released by heavy metal band Iron Maiden.

34. Seven is the atomic number of nitrogen.

35. Seven is the sum of any two opposite sides on a standard six-sided dice.

36. In the Harry Potter series of novels by J.K Rowling, seven is said to be the most powerfully magical number.

37. In Greek mythology, the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters, were the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas and the sea nymph Pleione.

38. The Secret Seven is a children's adventure book by Enid Blyton.

39. The diameter of the 45rpm format gramophone record was 7 inches.

40. Sevens is the 7th album by Country singer Garth Brooks, released in 1997.

41. Seven Dials in London's Covent Garden stands at the intersection of seven roads. Now part of a shopping area, it was a notorious slum in the 19th century, and hosted seven pubs on each of its apexes.

42. Sweet 7 is an album by Sugababes.

43. In Star Trek: Voyager, Seven of Nine (also called Seven for short) is one of the crew members.

44. Seven days of the feast of Passover (Exodus 13:3–10).

45. Jericho's walls fell on the seventh day after seven priests with seven trumpets marched around the city seven times (Joshua 6:8)

46. Netball and handball are played with teams of seven players.

47. Ancient astronomers believed there were seven planets in the solar system.

48. Seven demons were driven out of Mary Magdelene - Luke 8:2.

49. John Ruskin's The Seven Lamps of Architecture set out seven leading principles - sacrifice, truth, power, beauty, life memory and obedience.

50. The Seven Years' War (1756-63) was described by Winston Churchill as the first real world war.

Okay, I think 50 is enough! My favourite numbers are still 67 and 76.

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  1. You should have at least listed 67 facts about 7 Mike. ;-)

    1. True, but I ran out of steam at 50!

  2. have one extra: the 7 generation principle written down in the Great Law of the Iroquois ....

    1. Ah yes. There are many more besides.

  3. Anonymous10:35

    22 and 48 are the same (Mary, 7 sins) so you owe us 1 more.

    On a more sceptical note, you could produce a list like this for many numbers.

  4. Suzie14:42

    If you asked me my favourite number I would have said 7. Lucky 7 and all that.

  5. Wow, 50 of these 7s! Impressive. 7 is also my favorite number.