Douglas Adams is famously the man who wrote the brilliant Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series. the books have been adored by many fans for many years. a large part of the first book is based around a race called the Margretheans who build the worlds greatest supercomputer so that it could calculate the answer to life the universe and everything. After many generations of waiting the computer returns the answer “42” to the great disappointment of the Margratheans. this joke is now arguably better known than the books and many fans dedicate time in an attempt to decipher the code and discover the true meaning of the digits. Stephan Fry has claimed to know the answer but that he will not share it and plans to take it to the grave.



Base 13

one of the 2 surviving humans drew tiles from a bad of scrabble pieces and spelled the words “What do you get when you multiply six by nine” which of course, doesn’t even equal 42. However in base 13 this does indeed equal 42 but even when Douglas was asked all he said was “I may be a sorry case, but I don’t write jokes in base 13.” and this didn’t stop most of the nerds from gathering more evidence.

Other Theory’s

  • 42 is the amount of times a piece of paper needs to be folded in order for it to reach the moon.
  • 42 in binary is 101010 and the simplicity of the binary could have made it seem pleasing to Douglas Adams.
  • the Titanic was traveling at 42km/hour when it crashed into the iceberg
  • The element molybdenum has the atomic number 42 and is also the 42nd most common element in the universe.
  •  Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert died aged 42; they had 42 grandchildren and their great-grandson, Edward VIII, abdicated at the age of 42.

The truth

This email should more than suffice.