17 things you didn’t know about 17 for 2017

17 things you didn’t know about 17 for 2017

It’s a bit of an odd number, but there are a lot of cool facts about it we bet you didn’t know
  • As a number, 17 is mathematically very significant, starting with the fact it is the seventh prime number (a number bigger than 1 only divisibly by 1 and itself).

  • 17 is also the sum of the first four prime numbers: (2+3+5+7)
  • Edge of Seventeen: This 1982 track by the original rock chick, Stevie Nicks, was inspired by someone saying “we met at the age of 17” in a heavy Southern US accent. The lyrics were inspired by the deaths of Nicks’ uncle, and the Beatles musician John Lennon, who died in the same week. The song has been covered several times by other artists, and the opening guitar riff was used by Destiny’s Child in their 2001 megahit Bootylicious (Nicks even makes an apperance in the video!).
  • The Edge of Seventeen is a recent movie starring Hailee Steinfeld and newcome Hayden Szeto – whose family is originally from Hong Kong!
  • US teen magazine Seventeen, famous for its coverage of fashion, beauty, health, dating tips, and celeb goss, was first published in September 1944. That’s before the idea of a “teenager” was even really a thing.
  • In French, 17 (dix-sept, or “10-seven”) is the first compound number - before 17, the numbers have names unrelated to anything else.
  • A shape with 17 sides is called a heptadecagon.
  • The traditional Japanese poem, the haiku, contains 17 syllables over three lines: five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third.
  • In Harry Potter, the most valuable coin is a gold Galleon, which is equal in value to 17 silver Sickles.
  • During the course of five daily prayer times, Muslims must perform at least 17 rakats, or set movements and words.
  • 17 is the number you dial to get straight to the police, instead of the general or medical emergency services, in France.
  • In Roman numerals, 17 is XVII. If you mix the numerals around, you get VIXI, which is Latin for “I have lived”, ie I am dead. It is an unlucky number in Italy: some Italian planes don’t have a row 17, and some hotels don’t have a room 17.
  • Many experts agree that there are 17 species of penguin: King, Emperor, Adelie, Chinstrap, Gentoo, Little Blue, White-flippered, Magellanic, Humboldt, Galapagos, African, Yellow-eyed, Fiordland, Snares, Erect-crested, Rockhopper, Macaroni, Royal.
  • Brazilian football legend Pele played in his first World Cup when he was 17. Brazil won the final, and Pele remains the youngest person to have played in a World Cup final.
  • On their fourth album, Adore, alternative rock band Smashing Pumpkins have a song called 17. It lasts 17 seconds. (The lyrics, if you’re interested are:

17 seconds of compassion
17 seconds of peace
17 seconds to remember love is the energy
Behind which all is created
17 seconds to remember all that is good
17 seconds to forget all your hurt and pain
17 seconds of faith
17 seconds to trust you again
17 seconds of radiance
17 seconds to send a prayer up
17 seconds is all that you need

  • At 17, Malala Yousafzai became the youngest person to ever win a Nobel Prize.
  • A successful version of number puzzle Sudoku must have only one solution. For this to happen, mathematicians have proved that it must have at least 17 clues.
This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
17 things you didn’t know about 17


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Nishan pathak


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