Do You Have Paraskavedekatriaphobia? 13 Facts About Friday the 13th
Are you watching where you step today?
Nobody's quite sure where the origins of Friday the 13th came from, but millions are surely wary of it.
Today marks one of the more spookier days on the calendar—it's the only Friday the 13th in 2011.
1. The British Navy is said to have built a ship named Friday the 13th, or the HMS Friday, which on its maiden voyage left dock on a Friday the 13th, and was never heard from again. As LiveScience readers pointed out, however, this story seems to be a legend. The Royal Navy Museum states on its website that this story, which has been told before, is a hoax. "There has never been a Royal Navy ship named HMS Friday – or after any other day of the week for that matter," the museum said.
2. The ill-fated Apollo 13 launched at 13:13 CST on Apr. 11, 1970. The sum of the date's digits (4-11-70) is 13 (as in 4+1+1+7+0 = 13). And the explosion that crippled the spacecraft occurred on April 13 (not a Friday). The crew, however, did make it back to Earth safely.
3. Many hospitals have no Room No. 13, while some tall buildings skip the 13th floor.
4. Fear of Friday the 13th — one of the most popular myths in science — is called paraskavedekatriaphobia as well as friggatriskaidekaphobia. Triskaidekaphobia is fear of the number 13.
5. Quarterback Dan Marino wore No. 13 throughout his career with the Miami Dolphins. Despite being a superb quarterback (some call him one of the best ever), he got to the Super Bowl only once, in the 1984 season, and was trounced 38-16 by the San Francisco 49ers and Joe Montana (who wore No. 16 and won all four Super Bowls he played in).
6. Butch Cassidy, notorious American train and bank robber, was born on Friday, April 13, 1866.
7. Fidel Castro was born on Friday, Aug. 13, 1926.
8. President Franklin D. Roosevelt would not travel on the 13th day of any month and would never host 13 guests at a meal. Napoleon and Herbert Hoover were also triskaidekaphobic, with an abnormal fear of the number 13.
9. Superstitious diners in Paris can hire a quatorzieme, or professional 14th guest.
10. Mark Twain once was the 13th guest at a dinner party. A friend warned him not to go. "It was bad luck," Twain later told the friend. "They only had food for 12."
11. Woodrow Wilson considered 13 his lucky number, though his experience didn't support such faith. He arrived in Normandy in France on Friday, Dec. 13, 1918, for peace talks, only to return with a treaty he couldn't get Congress to sign. (The ship's crew wanted to dock the next day due to superstitions, Fernsler said.) Wilson toured the United States to rally support for the treaty, and while traveling, suffered a near-fatal stroke.
12. The number 13 suffers from its position after 12, according to numerologists who consider the latter to be a complete number — 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 apostles of Jesus, 12 days of Christmas and 12 eggs in a dozen.
13. The seals on the back of a dollar bill include 13 steps on the pyramid, 13 stars above the eagle's head, 13 war arrows in the eagle's claw and 13 leaves on the olive branch. So far there's been no evidence tying these long-ago design decisions to the present economic situation.
Fore more on Friday the 13th, including its origins, click HERE.