Everything and the universe

A short one. Is the answer to everything and the universe 42? Where did that come from? What’s the story?!


Assuming this is a serious question, I’ll tell you to read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams, who died May 11, 2001

The answer lies in the books.

“42” is the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything according to the book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (who unfortunately died very recently :frowning: ).

Fantastic books (there are four books in the trilogy [that’s not a typo]). They are very funny and an easy read.

The quick and the dirty of the story is that some hyper-dimensional beings, who appear in our universe as mice, decided to build a stupendous super computer to calculate the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything. After 7.5 million years of working the computer announces that the answer is “42”.

Not very happy with the answer the builders demand to know what that is supposed to mean. Deep Thought responds that the question was not very well defined and so an even bigger computer needed to be designed that would come up with the actual proper question. Once the proper question was known some sense could be made of the answer.

This new computer was so big it was often mistaken for a planet including by those who actually lived on it.

5 minutes before the computer was done running its program to find the question the ‘planet’ was blown-up by the Vogon’s to make way for a hyperspace bypass.

This was probably just as well since there was some speculation that knowing both the question and the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything at the same time might cause the universe to cease to exist and be replaced by an even more bizarre and improbable universe (and there is some speculation that this has already happened several times).

BTW: The computer that seemed like a planet was the earth.

Oh yeah…

I’ve seen websites devoted to the meaning behind the number 42 that Douglas Adams chose. All sorts of things and meanings were hung on it as if Adams really had chosen some cosmically significant number.

As was at a book signing for Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams where he was asked about the significance of the number “42”. Adam’s responded that when he was writing the book he paused when it came time to think up a number, looked out his window for a second and decided “42” sounded good. Basically he pulled it out of thin air and has no idea of any significance it might possess otherwise.

I’m not a huge x-files fan, but I think I remember noticing that Mulder’s apartment number was 42. Can anyone back that up? If this is true was it done on purpose?

Someone get the answer quick before he gets **excited]/b] :slight_smile:

Actually, there are six books in the trilogy, the sixth being a short story called “Young Zaphod Plays It Straight” and is a prequel to the original HHGTTG. I’ve only seen it once, in a compilation novel that has all six, bound, in order, with short notes between each book.



Homer, it’s “Young Zaphod Plays It Safe” and it is book number five. It is only about 14 pages long though. The sixth book is “Mostly Harmless”.

How do you figure something 14 pages long is a book?