Social media is awash with excitement as February 22, 2022 approaches, the date all numbers will line up to give the 2.22.22 date.
Users online have dubbed it Twosday, and it just so happens it falls on a Tuesday.
Although a full Twosday isn’t on the cards for another two centuries (2.22.2222), we’ve already seen a few patterns in our dates.
Countries such as Australia and Japan are the lucky ones so far, having already experienced four and two hours of Twosday respectively.
The internet went wild for Twosday (2.22.22) as social media users shared their experiences and even Google celebrated the day
More than a decade ago we saw two Onesdays with 11.1.11 and 11.11.11.
This century there have been 11 other months with similar patterns, such as 02.02.02 and 12.12.12.
HOW HAS THE HUMAN BRAIN DEVELOPED TO SEE SIGNIFICANCE IN PATTERNS?
The human brain has evolved to find meanings in patterns, in part because doing so helped our species survive. This included looking for changes in daylight to indicate when crops should be planted and harvested, as well as keeping an eye out for paw prints in the soil in case dangerous predators were near.
The same could be said for those able to use patterns to detect poisonous plants from healthy ones. This enabled the survivors to pass on those pattern-friendly genes to future generations.
But helping to keep us alive is not the only reason humans like to find meanings in patterns. When the brain finds one it zaps its synapses with a shot of dopamine, which in turn encourages itself to keep finding more connections.
However, there is also a tendency to make connections where none exist, known as apophenia. This has been defined as ‘the experience of seeing meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data’.
Taking the example of the date 2/22/22, although it is a unique milestone that looks appealing to the human eye, it carries no inherent meaning beyond its function in our particular calendar.
This ‘Twosday’ is an example of numerology, where supernatural significance is attached to numbers.
It may look mathematical, but it’s more akin to reading tea leaves and extends to the belief that certain numbers are good or bad. For instance, 7 is often seen as lucky and 13 as unlucky.
In 11 years we’ll be treated to Threesday (3.3.33) and Foursday another 11 years after that (4.4.44).
However, it will be for future generations to enjoy a full flush of twos on Twosday as the next one is centuries away.
Sadly for the people of the future though, that particularly special Twosday in the year 2222 will fall on a Friday.
That will be the last time there is a full line up of twos until February 22 22222, exactly 20,000 years later.
Of course there will be a 2.22.22 in 100 years’ time, but because the year will be 2100 it is not counted in the same way as it is with a zero, or 2022.
Excited Twitter user Peter Murphy took to the platform to ask a question about Twosday.
He said: ‘Would it be too wrong to wear a tutu to work’ to celebrate Twosday?’
One Twitter user shared that they had woken up specially to celebrate the rare numerically satisfying day.
Meanwhile, Google celebrated Twosday with an eruption of confetti and twos on searching for the word.
People have evolved to find meaning in patterns as a survival instinct.
This helped hunters track animals as they lived a more nomadic lifestyle.
It also came in handy when checking for nearby predators that could have endangered them.
The same could be said for those able to use patterns to detect poisonous plants from healthy ones.
The pattern-minded survivors of a much harsher environment than today were able to pass on their number-friendly genes to generations of humans.
Yet not all patterns have meaning. Twosday has provided many people with a burst of happiness and interest, although a higher purpose has not yet been discovered.
Dates such as these often give way to pseudoscience and theories of a higher meaning, sometimes connected to the cosmos.
This happens because humans want to find the meaning in the numbers they see, as well as being curious about the world we live in.
For example, many people believed the end of the world, or Doomsday, was upon us on December 12, 2012 (12.12.12).
That date was seen as the final day of a 5,126-year cycle in the ancient Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, used by pre-Columbian cultures in the Americas.