Google Has The Answer To Life The Universe and Everything

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44 responses

  1. Avatar for Phillip Molly Malone
    Phillip Molly Malone July 14th, 2005

    This may be the answer but what is the Ultimate Question?

    Molly

  2. Avatar for Brian Sexton
    Brian Sexton July 14th, 2005

    I tried to use your contact form for this, but it is returning an error message ("Your message could not be sent, most likely due to a problem with the mail server."), so I decided to try posting it here for you instead.



    Your feed is not well-formed right now. You might want to check that whenever you post; feed checks are just about as important as link checks now.

  3. Avatar for haacked
    haacked July 14th, 2005

    Hey Brian, thanks! I fixed the feed so it should validate now. I need to get on that mail server issue sometime soon.

  4. Avatar for Luke
    Luke July 16th, 2005

    lol thanks.now i know everything

  5. Avatar for The Answerer !
    The Answerer ! July 24th, 2005

    42

  6. Avatar for Mark
    Mark July 25th, 2005

    The question is completely irrelevent. Everytime the Question and the Answer are known to the same person at the same time, the thing the Question and Answer represent is destroyed and replaced by something more confusing.

  7. Avatar for yoctobyte
    yoctobyte July 25th, 2005

    Simple: the phrase "answer to life, the universe, and everything" has 42 characters (including spaces).



    No doubt the Question is related to this fact...?

  8. Avatar for Bjarke
    Bjarke July 29th, 2005

    The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything



    The Ultimate AnswerThe Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything is a concept taken from Douglas Adams' science fiction series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In the story, the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is sought from the supercomputer Deep Thought. The answer given by Deep Thought leads the protagonists on a quest to discover the question which provides this answer.



    Spoiler warning: Plot or ending details follow.



    Story lines

    According to the Hitchhiker's Guide, researchers taking the form of mice, which are actually 3-dimensional profiles of a pan-dimensional, hyper-intelligent race of beings, construct Deep Thought, the second greatest computer of all time and space, to calculate the answer to the Ultimate Question. After seven and a half million years of pondering the question, Deep Thought provides the answer: "forty-two".



    "Forty-two!" yelled Loonquawl. "Is that all you've got to show for seven and a half million years' work?"

    "I checked it very thoroughly," said the computer, "and that quite definitely is the answer. I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you've never actually known what the question is."

    Deep Thought informs the researchers that it will design a second and greater computer, incorporating living beings as part of its computational matrix, to tell them what the question is. That computer was called Earth and was so big that it was often mistaken for a planet. The question was lost five minutes before it was due to be produced, due to the Vogons' demolition of the Earth, supposedly to build a hyperspace bypass. (Later in the series, it is revealed that the Vogons had been hired to destroy the Earth by a consortium of philosophers and psychiatrists who feared for the loss of their jobs when the meaning of life became common knowledge.) Lacking a real question, the mice proposed to use "How many roads must a man walk down?" (the first line of Bob Dylan's famous civil rights song Blowin' In The Wind) as the question for talk shows, after considering and rejecting the question, "What's yellow and dangerous?"—actually a riddle whose answer, not given by Adams, is "Shark-infested custard". However, this may also refer to the Vogon Constructor Fleet that demolished Earth, in that they were yellow and most certainly dangerous.



    In one of the books, Marvin mentions that he can read the Question in Arthur's brainwaves. This does nothing to cheer him up.



    At the end of the first radio series, the television series, and the book The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (the second book of the five-book 'trilogy'), Arthur Dent (as the last human to have left the Earth before its destruction, and therefore the portion of the computer matrix most likely to hold the question) attempts to discover the Question by extracting it from his unconscious mind, through pulling Scrabble letters at random out of a sack. The result is the sentence "WHAT DO YOU GET IF YOU MULTIPLY SIX BY NINE".



    "Six by nine. Forty-two."

    "That's it. That's all there is."

    Since 6 × 9 = 54, this being the question would imply that the universe is bizarre and irrational; on the other hand, there is no proof that this was the actual question. After all, Arthur Dent composed only a minuscule fragment of the vast and complex computer matrix that was the Earth, and besides, it was stated that the computer's run had not finished when it was destroyed. In addition, Arthur and Ford realized that the original ape-like inhabitants of Earth were displaced by the Golgafrinchams, which could account for the irrational nature of the question in Arthur's mind (as he himself is a descendant of the Golgafrinchans). On discovering the question in the original radio series, Arthur Dent remarks: "I always said there was something fundamentally wrong with the universe."



    Another thought as to the false equation in the Hitchhiker's Guide was that the program (Earth) would have run correctly if not for the crash landing of the Golgafrinchams. This race introduced error into the program and thus turned what would have been the equation 7 times 6 = 42 into 9 times 6 = 42.



    It is also possible, given Adams' often bleak view of technology, that the 6 × 9 = 42 answer is meant to indicate that the Earth project was a flawed design to begin with, one that was always going to produce the wrong answer even if the program had been run successfully.



    It was later pointed out that 6 × 9 = 42 if the calculations are performed in base 13, not base 10. Douglas Adams was not aware of this at the time, and has since been quoted as saying that "nobody writes jokes in base 13." and also "I may be a pretty sad person, but I don't make jokes in base 13."



    Alternately, some have suggested that the question may be, "Pick a number, any number." Although this is not exactly a question, Marvin the Paranoid Android asks Zem the mattress in Life, the Universe, and Everything to pick any number.



    "I gave a speech once," he said suddenly and apparently unconnectedly. "You may not instantly see why I bring the subject up, but that is because my mind works so phenomenally fast, and I am at a rough estimate thirty billion times more intelligent than you. Let me give you an example. Think of a number, any number."

    "Er, five," said the mattress.

    "Wrong," said Marvin. "You see?"

    Since he often complains that his brain is "the size of a planet," it is somewhat feasible that he could have discovered what Earth was supposed to find out. Also, Eddie the shipboard computer in one part of the books mentions, "Pick a number, guys!" when Arthur wonders aloud what the Question is, but is ignored by the human inhabitants of the Heart of Gold.



    At the end of Life, the Universe and Everything, the third book in the series, Arthur encounters a man named Prak, who through a significant overdose of a remarkably effective truth serum has gained the knowledge of all truth. Prak confirms that 42 is indeed the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything, but reveals that it is impossible for both the ultimate answer and the ultimate question to be known about the same universe. He states that if such a thing should come to pass, the universe would disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarrely inexplicable. He then speculates that this may have already happened.



    Later, in So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish, the fourth book in the series, Arthur wonders if the ultimate answer might be the sudden startling revelation which Fenchurch had shortly before the demolition of the Earth. This theory turns out to be false; Fenchurch instead discovered God's Final Message to His Creation, the location of which was revealed to Arthur by Prak at the end of the previous book.



    It should be noted that 'The Restaurant at the End of the Universe opens with the lines: "There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened." The book then repeats part of the "prologue" of the first book: "...a girl sitting on her own in a small café in Rickmansworth suddenly realised what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything." At that point the story takes off. It is not unreasonable to assume that the universe before then had been 'normal' and that Arthur's life and everything that happened after that point was a direct result of the answer and question both being known (which would, of course, make the answer and question useless as the universe itself had changed).





    Douglas Adams' view

    On November 2, 1993 Douglas Adams gave an answer (http://groups-beta.google.com/group/alt.fan.douglas-adams/msg/d1064f7b27808692?dmode=source&hl=en) on alt.fan.douglas-adams:



    The answer to this is very simple. It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and I chose that one. Binary representations, base thirteen, Tibetan monks are all complete nonsense. I sat at my desk, stared into the garden and thought '42 will do'. I typed it out. End of story.



    Miscellany

    The true reason 42 was used in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (as revealed in "The Salmon of Doubt") is that Douglas Adams thought it was the funniest two-digit number.

    According to the production notes of the DVD for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 1981 TV series, the scenes with Deep Thought were shot during week 42 of the BBC's calendar.

    Google has a calculator function in its search engine, which knows the supposed answer to life the universe and everything (http://www.google.com/search?q=answer+to+life+the+universe+and+everything+=).

    MSN Search also calculates this query correctly in a similar fashion (http://beta.search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=the%20answer%20to%20life%20the%20universe%20and%20everything).



    Computer programmers' joke

    There is a joke amongst computer programmers that Deep Thought may have had some order of operations issues. The following code in the C programming language defines the macros SIX as "1 + 5" and NINE as "8 + 1", and then performs the computation "SIX * NINE". It returns the answer "42", because "SIX * NINE" is expanded by the computer to "1 + 5 * 8 + 1", and the multiplication takes precedence over the additions. (This occurs because the macro expansion is textual, not logical.)



    #include <stdio.h>

    #define SIX 1 + 5

    #define NINE 8 + 1



    int main(void)

    {

    printf( "What do you get if you multiply %d by %d: %d\n", SIX, NINE, SIX * NINE );

    return 0;

    }

    Falsely assuming that the answer is indeed correct, that means that the meaning of life, the universe and everything would be 42.

  9. Avatar for Drew
    Drew July 29th, 2005

    Hello, I just came across this feed from a Google search I did on the calculator answer. And I would like to add that Google does one other thing I know of, and if there are more, please point them out:



    Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Where+in+the+world+is+Carmen+Sandiego%3F&btnG=Google+Search



    Drew

  10. Avatar for Charles
    Charles June 13th, 2006

    What!! That's it? the answer to Life the Universe and Everything, is 42, was a joke!
    What sorted answer is that! this is all very confusing and somewhat shock.
    I've been on this quest in search of the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything only to find myself back where I started.
    Nowhere...
    It's a damn shame
    It's no wonder everyone on this planet or computer or whatever you want to call it now, is so screwed up.
    and thats all I have to say about that.

  11. Avatar for J-w00t
    J-w00t November 25th, 2006

    Nice use of Wikipedia Bjarke :)

  12. Avatar for Ronni
    Ronni December 1st, 2006

    Charles it's not the answer but the travel to the answer that makes the answer to 42.
    So getting there will in the end spell out to be 42.
    if you think back.
    how many searches did i do before i found the answer? 42
    how many years did it take me to find the answer? 42
    what shoe size does the guy at my left have? 42
    how many carlsbergs can i drink before getting the answer? 42
    so in the end everything you do before you find the question have be in the term of 42.
    when you have done that you will find the question to your answer.
    but then again your question might not be the same of mine.

  13. Avatar for norules24
    norules24 December 21st, 2006

    The ultimate question= "WHAT DO YOU GET IF YOU MULTIPLY SIX BY NINE."

  14. Avatar for Tem
    Tem December 25th, 2006

    The Answer To Life The Universe and Everything
    is very hard to find. However I feel connected to the world in a big way which means I have a better chance of finding the answer then others. If anyone is reading this think deepley to yourself and try and find your own answer. I do not now the answer but I ment somebody who dose. Please leave a comment about what I am saying so we can work together to find the person who knows the answer to everything. By the way the only thing this person told [related to the question] me was that he couldnt tell me the answer but I would have to band together with a few people and go around the world if a wanted the ture. This person also told me not to work too much unless you like your job a fair amount and if you are happy and active you will find out knew information on finding the answer

  15. Avatar for William
    William March 17th, 2007

    had no idea. -_-

  16. Avatar for jimmy
    jimmy May 19th, 2007

    Don't quite get the carmen sandiego thing...

  17. Avatar for lupus_42
    lupus_42 November 15th, 2007

    This is from my favourite book.
    The answer to the Ultimate Question to Life, the Universe, and Everything is forty-two.
    The Ultimate Question does NOT exist, so do not contemplate it too much. There are some funny coincidences, but in reality, Douglas Adams admits to making it up at random. The question is NOT "What do you get if you multiply six by nine?", because it is clearly noted in the story that the question Arthur conjures is only a distortion of the actual question, because of his ancestry of Golgafrinchans, who weren't actual natives of the Earth but rather idiotic aliens.

  18. Avatar for lolking
    lolking November 18th, 2007

    hello i have the answer to everything
    haha
    haha
    haha

  19. Avatar for Shino
    Shino November 18th, 2007

    Lol. you are very silly.

  20. Avatar for minanda
    minanda April 7th, 2008

    the meaning of life is relevance

  21. Avatar for Sebastian
    Sebastian May 6th, 2008

    The meaning of life is irrelevant

  22. Avatar for DANp
    DANp June 28th, 2008

    , and then some.

  23. Avatar for FriED
    FriED July 3rd, 2008

    The answer to life is indeed 42, the reason are more obscure than most of you would think at first. This information, I gather over many years of research. First 4 is the first most important number after 3, which is the 3rde most important number excluding 0. And the second number 2, is also the second number in the answer, coincidence I reckon. But it is also a factor of the first number, therefore if 4=a then 42 = 2a/2 which is a. And if a is any variable then the answer to life is anything.

  24. Avatar for ---
    --- July 8th, 2008

    I don't anderstand that because 9*6 is 54

  25. Avatar for L$
    L$ July 13th, 2008

    Simple, the answer to life, the universe, and everything is money (and sometimes love) \:D/

  26. Avatar for :)
    :) August 6th, 2008

    i love this :D

  27. Avatar for I love DR Who and The Number 4
    I love DR Who and The Number 4 September 4th, 2008

    if 42 is the answer the question must be one of the fowling
    0+42
    1+41
    2+40
    3+39
    4+38
    5+37
    6+36
    7+35
    8+34
    9+33
    10+32
    11+31
    12+30
    13+29
    14+28
    15+27
    16+26
    17+25
    18+24
    19+23
    20+22
    22+22
    1x42
    2x22
    3x14 (Thats all i could think of.....)

    I love Hitchhikers guide to galaxy with all its wit. and i think that if we do find what the answer or question (which ever one we are looking for) it will spoil all the fun.

    But i think the best question is
    What have little white mice got to do with it All ????????
    LOL
    I know the answer is 42!!!
    Love Doctor WHO

  28. Avatar for luke kelly
    luke kelly September 30th, 2008

    fuck u u smelly arab like my dik

    p.s. im a pornstar :)

  29. Avatar for dj
    dj October 4th, 2008

    i sure as hell hope not. it'll kill humanity. we are still too primitive to assimilate the facts.. it'll just make us crazy and drive us to our doom! mankind must wait

  30. Avatar for smartass
    smartass October 16th, 2008

    7x6 is also 42...

  31. Avatar for Pretty Polly
    Pretty Polly October 23rd, 2008


    Amazingly enough (only not really), the question is the same that as the one to which the answer is 19 (nineteen).
    Or so it seems.
    Then again, semblance may be everything.

  32. Avatar for Danut
    Danut November 22nd, 2008

    Maybe the answear is 7.

  33. Avatar for Thinker
    Thinker November 26th, 2008

    Through advanced study I have found out that life is rithm and sound, and our eyes and ears and mouth and skin pick up different types of sound. so music is a VERY simple form of life. Good luck figureing out the the point to life though.

  34. Avatar for Lizi
    Lizi February 1st, 2009

    Actually, im quite frustrated right now because google calculator no longer displays 42 as the answer to life the universe and everything. quite simply, my response is "wth?"

  35. Avatar for Katie
    Katie February 1st, 2009

    I agree with the girl named Lizi.

  36. Avatar for Ossiris
    Ossiris February 24th, 2009

    Well my question wasnt if the answer was 42.... My qwestion was why is it 42???????

  37. Avatar for Ossiris
    Ossiris February 24th, 2009

    By the way Fried sounds smart....=) He made me and my cousin understand what the question was.... Thanks for your info.... Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I think thats about it.... THANK YOU!!!!!! Now i can tell my math teacher the answer..!. =)

  38. Avatar for Whoever I Want To Be
    Whoever I Want To Be December 27th, 2009

    Since 6*9 = 42, and 6*7 = 42 then 6*7 = 6*9, so 7=9. Which proves that everything we hold to be true, is actually false and Vice Versa, which since everything we hold to be false would then be true, it would instantly become false again. All our base concepts of physics are wrong.
    Yes, I know this is a revive.

  39. Avatar for Mental Case
    Mental Case January 19th, 2010

    1.16699016 × 10-8 hertz

  40. Avatar for Smeghead
    Smeghead June 5th, 2010

    Actually 6x9 is 42... but it's in base 13.
    Thus it's 4*13^1 + 2*13^0 = 54 = 6x9.
    Too bad Adams had said that he didn't make jokes in base 13...

  41. Avatar for panha
    panha September 30th, 2010

    what are the advantages of an audit committee?

  42. Avatar for anyone
    anyone October 31st, 2010

    the answer is



    42 yay im smart lmao

  43. Avatar for Mcdaykatie123
    Mcdaykatie123 February 3rd, 2013

    42

  44. Avatar for nosam
    nosam August 10th, 2013

    13