Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceTrivia · 1 decade ago

Why is the answer to everything 42?

Some people say the answer to everything is 42...

I don't get it...

31 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the first book in an awesome series by Douglas Adams. I really enjoyed the fourth book in the trilogy, mostly because it was the fourth book in a trilogy....anyway, as the story goes, long ago there was a group of super-intelligent beings. They wanted to know the Ultimate Answer to the Universe. So they built this supercomputer called Deep Thought and it took 7.5 million years to calculate the answer. The answer is 42, and that's all Deep Thought had to say about it. It was unable to produce the Ultimate Question to the Universe.

    So an even more powerful computer was built, and that was the Planet Earth. These pan-dimensional creators of both Deep Thought and the Earth took the form of mice. Humans are actually a race alien to Earth that crash-landed here and made the process take longer than it needed to. After 8 million years, 5 minutes before the answer was completed, Vogons (a nasty alien race) destroyed Earth so they could have a better superhighway through hyperspace.

    But that's not the end of the story. Arthur Dent, the only surviving human from Earth, has the Ultimate Question subconsciously stored in his mind. So after escaping Earth's destruction and embarking on trippy adventures spanning the universe and including time travel to the end of the universe (specifically to a restaurant where you can watch the universe end in glorious fashion over and over again), he wound up traveling back in time to when the Golgafrinchons (our ancestors) crash-landed on Earth.

    The subconscious question was drawn out of him by drawing random Scrabble tiles. The message said "What do you get if you multiply six by nine?" The answer is obviously 54, but Deep Thought's answer was 42. Dent sees this and says, "I always thought something was fundamentally wrong with the universe." Never mind that the Scrabble message included 3 Y's, and an ordinary game of Scrabble only includes 2. Maybe he drew a blank. Or maybe it doesn't really matter.

    People have tried to read way too much into this. It's just Adams being funny, and 42 seemed like the funniest two-digit number he could think of. The only really plausible hypothesis that I've seen has to do with Base 13, which means you take any number in the tens place, multiply by 13 instead of 10 (hence base 13), and add to that whatever is in the ones place. So look at the Deep Thought answer: 42. Take 4 X 13 and that's 52, add two and that's 54. And 9 X 6 actually is 54. Adams heard this theory and said, "I may be a sorry case, but I don't write jokes in Base 13."

    Anyway, you should read these books. They are incredible and may change your life.

  • 4 years ago

    It comes from Douglas Adam's "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" of course.

    There are a lot of answers as to why Adams might have chosen 42, such as that 42 is an asterisk in ASCII or something about base 13 - there are a lot of ways to play around with the number for certain.

    My personal favorite theory is historical; on the voyage of Sputnik 5, 2 dogs (Belka and Strelka), a rabbit, and 42 lab mice were sent into space (these were the first animals ever to survive being in orbit around Earth).

    Lab mice also played an important role in the Hitchhiker's Guide:

    "Mice are merely the protrusion into our dimension of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings who, unbeknownst to the human race, are the most intelligent species on the planet Earth."

    Factoring in that these 42 lab mice were among the first animals to *travel in space*, and that this historic event took place during Adam's childhood, and it's a pretty fantastic coincidence at the least.

  • 4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    In Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a couple people ask a supercomputer what the answer to life, the universe, and everything is. She asked them to go back in 7.5 million years, and they did, and a huge crowd was waiting for the answer. The computer gave the answer: 42. They were obviously disappointed, but the computer stated that such a question is not really a question at all. You have to know the right question to get the right answer. It's a fantastic movie/book, I suggest watching it!

  • hogge
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    The Answer To Life The Universe And Everything

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

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  • slamn5
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    It has to do with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Its a sci-fi book about a computer that says after millions of years that the answer to the ultimate question is 42. You can research the book and read about it. The author states that he randomly chose 42, for no special reason, yet people are finding special meanings in the number.

    Good luck.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    To understand you need to read Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or watch the movie.

    42 is the number from which all meaning derives "the meaning of life, the universe, and everything".

  • 5 years ago

    21, half 42, is the weight we lose after we die. perhaps, some religious people and theorist think it´s the weight of our soul. The double of 21, it´s 42. It means this number is more than our soul. one thing we known, or maybe some people know, and it´s that something more than our soul is God. God is more than Us, which leads us in one more state, 42 is more than us. If we are so rare, we appeared in a whole universe as the only things who can think, and understand complex situations, then, something above us is above everything. 42 is above us, so 42 is above everything, and as that is the answer to everything was, will be, and, actually, is.

    • David4 years agoReport

      A dying person weighs exactly the same live or dead - so your statement about losing weight at death is bogus. Also, Douglas Adams was an avowed atheist, so dragging god into this 42 discussion is also bogus. 42 has NO meaning - which was Adam s point.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Because the answer to life is a question.




    No answer?

    Still a question

    Answer to life is to question. Say why to every problem you ever encounter and you will fix the world. And if you cant solve it with questioning then it isnt a problem. Cheers. Go out and try this. It s fun and doesn t hurt anyone!

  • 4 years ago


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