As you've probably been told by countless Facebook friends and people you follow on Twitter, today is a once-in-a-century kind of day. And I know what your thinking - it's the release date for Skyrim. No, no young gamers. I'm talking about that fact that it's November 11th, 2011 - or to put it more concisely, 11/11/11.
And with that date comes significance - at least to some people. Something about the symmetry of the date, an odd sense of roundness and completion. It's a part of our human nature to look for patterns, and to find meaning it them. For some people, 11/11/11 might be a perfect day to make a really important wish. When you combine the date with the legendary "perfect wish time" or 11:11, you've got a cosmically significant moment to ask for that new iPhone for Christmas.
For some, 11/11/11 has even bigger implications - end of the world type implications.
According to some numerologists, this date could have a link to the ancient Mayan prophecies of apocalypse - set to occur on December 21st, 2012. You see, that's the date that the ancient Mayan calendar ends. According to a scholar of Maya history, 11/11/11 ties in to this date because the 2012 winter solstice has been set for 11:11 universal time on December 21st.
According to 16th century scholar Petrus Bungus, the number 11 might have sinister implications:
"It has no connection with divine things, no ladder reaching up to things above, nor any merit. Stuck between the divine numbers 10 and 12, 11 was pure evil, and represented sinners."
Well that sounds like fun. Maybe your Friday night festivities will be a little extra sin-filled today.
Could 11/11/11 signal good fortune? Apparently some couples believe that it can. Las Vegas wedding chapels have reported a massive upswing in ceremonies planned for the day. One particular chapel, the Viva Las Vegas Chapel, has 190 weddings booked for 11/11/11. That's about four weddings every half hour.
The internet is buzzing about the numerical oddity:
From reddit, we see that folks are pretty psyched about this once-a-century event:
Here's a fun little Instagram shot that is being shared on Twitter:
Of course, 11/11/11 has another important meaning. It's Nigel Tufnel Day -
A quick search of Twitter will net a mixed bag of 11/11/11 tweets, with some talking about wishes and others just wishing that people would stop talking about it.
Wake me up when 11/11/11 ends.
The babies born on 11/11/11 11:11 are sooo lucky. That's a dope birth date right there.
Not really sure how to celebrate 11:11 on 11/11/11, but I think drinking a Pabst sounds like the best bet.
Remember that time it was 126.96.36.199.11.11? wasn't that great?? Let's do it again in 12 hours!
Today is 11/11/11!!! Do you know what that means?!? It means we're all still struggling to find any meaning in this mortal existence.
So why is everyone so obsessed with 11/11/11? Blame it on apophenia. It's a term that originated in the 1950s that describes the experience of seeing meaningful patterns or connection in random, meaningless data. For instance, you might see 11s more today than any other day. Your brain wants to make these connections, and it's a self-feeding phenomena. The more you see and the more aware of it you become, the more you'll be likely to see other instances of 11 in order to feed the association.
But for those of you who love the numerical oddities - here are some fun upcoming dates to look forward to:
and 3/14/15, which is the real pi day (3.1415).
The next time you'll see 11/11/11 -well, you probably won't. It will be November 11th, 2111. At least that's closer than the next time you'll see 1/1/1.