Frequently Asked Questions about 47 and The 47 Society

What is 47?

In short, 47 appears to be the quintessential random number of the universe. In other words, when a number appears randomly, more often than not, that number is 47. In other other words, if you asked people to pick a number at random, more often than not, that number would be 47. Of course, if 47 shows up more than any other number then it isn't truly random, but using the word random makes the whole phenomenon easier to describe.

What is a "47 Sighting"?

Anytime you notice the number 47 anywhere in your life or in the world (or elsewhere). There are a variety of interpretations as to what constitutes a bona fide "47 Sighting." Whatever your definition, we encourage you to share your 47 sightings and stories with the 47 Society Mailing List.

What is the 47 Society?

The 47 Society is an international interest-group that follows the occurence and recurrence of the quintessential random number: 47. Many suspect that the coincidental nature of 47 carries some mystical, metaphysical and/or scientific significance.

The phenomenon may have first been documented at Pomona College in 1964, when Professor Donald Bentley proved that all numbers are equal to 47. Coincidentally, 47 seems to occur on or near the college campus with amazing frquency, even by enthusiast standards.

But make no mistake: 47 is everywhere and people were noticing it long before 1964. The 47 Society Web Site is the global source for 47 information.

Aren't You Just Seeing 47 More Because You're Looking For It?


Still not convinced? Try this simple experiment. Pick another number. For the next three to six months keep your eyes open for both. 47 will show up more. If you find out otherwise, please let us know!

What's The Pomona College Connection?

In the 1960's, Pomona College's Professor Donald Bentley completed a mathematical proof that stated that all numbers were equal, therefore all numbers were equal to 47. Since then, students at Pomona have been quietly indoctrinated in the ways of 47. Some believe, some doubt. But it is listed in the student handbook right after "Glee Club". At this date, we have been unable to obtain a copy of Professor Bentley's proof, however, 1968 Pomona Alumnus Wayne Phillips corroborates its existence.

What's the Star Trek Connection?

A Pomona College alum has been a writer and producer for the various Star Trek TV shows and films. He indoctrinated the other writers several years ago (while writing for Star Trek: The Next Generation). Since then, nearly every Star Trek episode has included some mention of 47. Some "Trekkies" have put together their own excellent pages dedicated to these 47s. Since these are more frequent and deliberate than randomly-occurring 47s, we generally discuss only the most cosmically significant of these sightings in our own forums. Kirk would have wanted it this way

What about OTHER numbers?

Our research indicates that numbers have lives of their own. 47 appears to be the most playful number, frequently showing up in unusual and/or surprising ways. Other numbers have their own characteristics, and we have heard heated testimonials from followers of some of these numbers, including 3, 11, 19, 23 and 42.

Keep this in mind: 47-spotting is fun. There is no need to make 47 your favorite or lucky number in order to appreciate its synchronicitious ways. Just relax, observe 47 as it reveals to you, and share your experience with the 47 Society.

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