61 Seconds

Have you ever wondered why there are 12 months in a year, 60 minutes in an hour, and 60 seconds in a minute? It’s one of those things we take for granted every day. This system has always seemed pretty arbitrary to me but you can find out the logic behind this by looking at decisions that were made in far away civilizations thousands of years ago. These ancient civilizations didn’t use base 10 number like the world does not (except for the U.S.) they used the duodecimal (base 12) and sexagesimal (base 60) systems. We have inherited some strange oddities because of these decisions. For example, did you know that “not all minutes contain 60 seconds?” Some minutes contain 61 seconds. Read more at Scientific American’s Ask the Experts.

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