Triskaidekaphobia

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Template:Wiktionary Triskaidekaphobia is an irrational fear of the number 13. It is usually considered to be a superstition. A specific fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia.

Origins

It has been linked to the fact there were 13 people at the last supper of Jesus, but it probably originated only in medieval times. It has also been linked to that fact that a lunisolar calendar must have 13 months in some years, while the solar Gregorian calendar and lunar Islamic calendar always have 12 months in a year.

Triskaidekaphobia may have also affected the Vikings - it is believed that Loki in the Norse pantheon was the 13th god. This was later Christianized into saying that Satan was the 13th angel.

The Mesopotamian Code of Hammurabi (ca. 1686 BC) omits 13 in its numbered list. This seems to indicate a superstition existed long before the Christian era.

In general, 13 may be considered a "bad" number simply because it is one more than 12, which is a popularly used number in many cultures (due to it being highly composite).

Examples

Some buildings number their floors so as to skip the thirteenth floor entirely, jumping from floor 12 to floor 14 in order to avoid distressing triskaidekaphobics, or using 12a and 12b instead. This is sometimes applied to room numbers as well. The same is applied to rows in aeroplanes.

The composer Arnold Schoenberg suffered from triskaidekaphobia. He was born and died on the 13th of the month.

The Nazi fighter plane developed from the He-112 was designated He-100 in order to avoid the designation He-113, which was considered unlucky.

American singer-songwriter John Mayer had 14 tracks on his album Room for Squares, although the 13th is 0.2 seconds of silence and is not listed on the album cover.

Some refer to the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission to the moon as proof of 13 being unlucky.de:Triskaidekaphobie fr:Triskaidékaphobie nl:Triskaidekafobie sv:Triskaidekafobi

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