Top 12 facts you about…errr 12!

Today it’s 12/12/12! So, to celebrate this little trinket, we’ve extended our usual top ten blog to twelve little factoids to make your day.


1.The word twelve is the largest number with a single syllable in the English language. It is thought to have come from the German combination word ‘twalif’ which means ‘two leftover,’ (literally two remaining – after ten have been taken.)


2. 12 is the atomic number of magnesium on the periodic table.

3. In trading terms, 12 things are usually called a ‘dozen’ and 12 dozen (or 12 lots of 12) is known as a gross. A baker’s dozen is 13 though which is thought to have come about so bakers never cheated people by selling them less than agreed. They would give 13 for the price of 12 rather than risk cheating customers, as the laws on bakers were very strict.

loaves of bread

4. A group of 12 things is called a duodecad.


5. The first part of your small intestine is called the duodenum (from the Latin ‘duodecim; meaning 12) as it is about 12 inches long.


6. Force 12 on the Beaufort wind force scale represents the maximum wind speed of a hurricane.


7. Twelve people have walked on the moon but so far no women. The average age of the twelve  astronauts, when they took their steps, is 39.33 years! Can you name any but the most famous two? See the full list.


8. There are normally 12 pairs of ribs in the human body.


9. The 12 inch vinyl LP became the most popular way to buy albums on vinyl in the 1950s beating off stiff competition from the 10 inch format competitor. A standard vinyl album contains around 45 minutes of music across two sides of the disc.


10.The Astronomical Society of the Pacific have declared 12/12/12 Anti-doomsday Day in celebration of rational thinking and reasoned discourse. In astronomical terms Mars is 12 light minutes from the Sun and the average temperature of the Earth is 12 degrees Celsius.


11. A twelve sided shape is called a dodecagon and all regular cubes have 12 edges


12. The twelve days of Christmas start on Christmas Day (25th Dec) and run until 5th January. The song the Twelve Days of Christmas is unusual, as in musical terms it doesn’t keep a standard time signature but changes between 4/4 and ¾ rhythms. Here’s a different fun take of the song to go out on!

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