by Noor Alnaqeeb (@nooralnaqeeb)
Warning: if you suffer from triskaidekaphobia, avert your eyes.
Triskaidekaphobia, from Greek “tris” meaning “3,” “kai” meaning “and,” and “deka” meaning “10,” is the fear of the number thirteen; it is a superstition and is related to the specific fear of Friday the 13th; called paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia.
The realization of such a fear existing in the world brought two questions to mind:
One: What have the consequences of triskaidekaphobia had on the world as a whole?
And two: How are triskaidekaphobia sufferers going to survive the year “2013?”
This flabbergasting revelation called for one thing: research!
Did you know, nerdies and nerdy-men, that hotel complexes opt to have no 13th floor, let alone have it as a room number, due to the loss of customers who succumb to the superstition?
Airlines such as AirTran and Comair have eradicated the thirteenth row in order to avoid the symbol. Design agency Hoet & Hoet were even asked to change an airline’s stylized “b” tail design, which consisted of thirteen balls, to a new design with fourteen.
Developers also skip the number thirteen for street addresses when building new homes. 32% fewer homes are sold on the 13th of any month compared to any other day. Individuals selling their homes at that number can expect to get 3% less while selling their property than any other residential number. And finally, 34% fewer properties are sold with the number thirteen than those labelled 1 – 12 and 14 – 30.
I mean, it’s not the most alluring number, but why’ve you got to be so mean, world? It is numberist I tell you. So for all you triskaidekaphobia-ists out there, let’s take the time to celebrate all the good things about the number thirteen.
1. Thirteen is the age you officially become a teenager.
2. A baker’s dozen consists of thirteen baked delights (more food is always welcome).
3. Steve Buscemi’s birthday is on the 13th of December.
4. It takes thirteen seconds to heat up a slice of pizza in a microwave.
5. The 13th Amendment brought about the abolishment of slavery.
6. The first Lord of the Rings movie was nominated for thirteen Oscar titles in 2001.
7. In China, the number is considered lucky due to the definition of the words “one” and “three” meaning “definitely vibrant” or “assured growth.”
8. There are thirteen episodes in the first and final season of Chuck.
10. The 13th of October 1969 was the first time 7 people were in space.
11. Six days ago, 11-year-old boys unearthed a thirteen thousand-year-old bone of a mastodon, the furry elephant-like creature that went extinct about 12,000 years ago.
12. Several Nobel Peace Prizes were awarded on the 13th of October.
13. And to conclude, Thor 2 is coming out in 2013. Boo-ya.
So there you have it, thirteen reasons why the number can be a good thing as opposed to a reason to run and hide behind conventionally lucky numbers like 7 and 88. Hopefully, now the universe can be reassured that the year 2013 will not be riddled with bad luck and looming omens and instead prove itself worthy of our lack of superstition. Is now a bad time to point out the symbol “13” appeared thirteen times in this article? Or that Zachary Levi has thirteen letters in his name? Heh, just kidding.