# Five Reasons Why 42 May Actually Be the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything

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Yesterday, Americans of all ages gathered to salute and remember the men and women who died while serving in the armed forces of the United States. A select few did so with towels in their hands, offering a subtle homage to a man who was neither a veteran nor even an American, but, with his written words, made many a reader smile and think. Yes, yesterday was Memorial Day, but it was also Towel Day, a day dedicated to humorist and author Douglas Adams.

Adams is widely known for penning the incredibly funny science fiction novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, as well as the impeccably named five-part Hitchhiker's Trilogy, but he is perhaps best known for answering, in the Hitchhiker's Guide, the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything. The answer, of course, is 42.

Is the ultimate answer really 42? To be honest, nobody really knows (partly because we don't know the ultimate question). But here are five reasons why 42 is as good an ultimate answer as any:

1. In a 3 x 3 x 3 magic cube, where the numbers 1,2,3,4... 27 are all written at an intersection point, each column, row, and pillar adds up to 42.

2. The optimum angle for white light to refract through water and thus form a rainbow is between 40.89 and 42 degrees.

3. The number 42 was the first number to be retired from any professional sport. It was worn by Major League Baseball player Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in the major leagues in the modern era.

4. "Two physical constants in the universe are the speed of light and the diameter of a proton. It takes light 10 to the minus 42nd power seconds to cross the diameter of a proton."

(Images: AP, Jaksmata, KES47, Bob Sandberg)

H/T John Dumay

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