British writer and broadcaster Alex Bellos set up a website and asked people to vote for their favorite numbers. More than 44,000 did. The winner? The number 7. Throughout history, our strongest emotional reaction is to the number 7, says Bellos. But why? He thinks that we like 7 because it’s the only number between 2 and 10 that is neither a multiple nor a factor of any other. “It somehow stands apart from the others,” he says.
The number 7 is central to the New7Wonders Global Memory concept, which is all about 7 things that everyone can remember and in which they can participate. Consider this:
- From antiquity to the present day, much of popular culture revolves around 7. There are 7 Days, 7 Seas, 7 Brides, 7 Sages, 7 Sisters, 7 Dwarves, 7 Wonders of the Ancient World…
- The Official New 7 Wonders of the World are the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, Petra, the Colosseum, Chichen Itza, Christ Redeemer and Machu Picchu.
- ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet) are the 7 colours that make up white light—these are also what we marvel at in the rainbow. 7 is also the number of stellar objects in the solar system visible to the eye: the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn.
- Religions assign a special place to 7: God rested on the 7th day in the Jewish Torah and the Christian Old Testament. Roman Catholic belief emphasizes 7 sacraments and 7 Deadly Sins. Buddha walked 7 steps at his birth. In Islamic tradition, 7 symbolizes infinity. The cycle of rebirth goes through 7 stages in Hinduism before the soul attains moksha, or salvation.
- The Official New7Wonders of Nature are Amazon, Halong Bay, Iguazu Falls, Jeju Island, Komodo, Puerto Princesa Underground River and Table Mountain.
- The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information by George A. Miller of Princeton University is one of the most highly cited papers in psychology. It is the basis of Miller’s Law, which argues that the number of objects an average human can hold in working memory is 7 ± 2.
- On 7 July this year, the number of cities in the New7Wonders Cities campaign will be reduced from 28 to 21, and the Official New7Wonders Cities, chosen by hundreds of millions of votes from around the world, will be revealed on 7 December.”
Quote: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.” William Shakespeare