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777 facts about the number 7

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There are seven deadly sins. They are - in alphabetical order - envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth, and wrath.


Seven is the name of a film in which a psychopath played by Kevin Spacey commits one murder for each of the seven deadly sins, in a manner gruesomely corresponding to that sin.


There were seven wonders of the ancient world:
  • The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt (the only one still remaining)
  • The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  • Phidias' Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  • The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
  • The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
  • The Colossus of Rhodes
  • The Pharos Lighthouse of Alexandria


There are seven days in a week.


In the film AI, David’s birthday cake held seven candles.


The semi-circular window above the door of number 10 Downing Street, residence of the English Prime Minister, has a design based around seven large panes of dewdrop-shaped glass.


There are seven frogs on a picture postcard that I received in the mail on June 20th, 2000.


There are seven books in the Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis.


There are seven notes in the ‘Do Re Mi’ musical scale.


You think seven times faster than you can write.


Liberty Bell 7 was the second spaceship to carry an American - Virgil 'Gus' Grissom - off the planet. It’s the only U.S. space capsule ever lost at sea and currently sits on the ocean floor, unseen since the 21st of the seventh month, 1961.


Seven Sisters is the name of a road in London (but I don’t know the names of the seven sisters it was named after).


Seven Sisters is also another name for the star constellation The Pleiades. It is a northern-hemisphere cluster of young, hot stars: six can be seen easily with the naked eye, and a seventh with rather more difficulty. Use of a telescope reveals hundreds more, as well as traces of the gaseous nebula from which the stars have (comparatively) recently condensed.
The bright stars are named for the seven daughters of Atlas, of whom six (Alcyone, Celaeno, Electra, Maia, Sterope and Taygete) took gods for lovers; the seventh, Merope, instead married Sisyphus, and so is represented by a less bright star.


The star constellation The Great Bear (Ursa Major, The Plough) has seven indestructible (can be seen all year from northern hemisphere) stars.


The Lotus Seven was introduced in 1957 and became a famous, still much revered and sought after sports car.


The Mazda RX7 is another sports car that’s been around since 1985 and features a rotary engine. Whatever that is.


Five days after his sixty-fifth birthday, the famous fictional science-fiction writer Kilgore Trout – created by Kurt Vonnegut - received a letter from an equally fictitious reader of his, John Figler. John Figler is prepared to state the single idea that lies at the core of Kilgore Trout’s work so far, namely that "Love may fail, but courtesy will prevail." Kilgore Trout then finds himself in the abashed condition of realising that he needn’t have bothered to write several books; a seven-word telegram would have done the job.
: Rumour has it that John Figler is, indeed, a genuine person - merely embroiled in a work of fiction after sending a letter to either the real or the fictitious author, Kurt Vonnegut or Kilgore Trout.
Sincere apologies for any inconvenience or self-doubt this may have caused Mr. Figler.


On Sunday, 18th November, 2001,  I saw a Citroen Xsara which had a design on its wheel-trims based around seven spokes.


On the same day I also saw a Rover 216 SLi that had a seven-spoked wheel design.


And a Mitsubishi Space Star.


In the fairytale Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, there are seven dwarves. Their names are Bashful, Doc, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy and Sneezy.


Seven Iron has something to do with golf. Perhaps it’s the name of a golf club (or maybe just a small group of friends.)


The Jewish candlestick (the menorah) has seven branches.


In the Book of Revelations in the Bible there’s something called The Seven Seals, which are as follows:
  • 1. Rev 6:1,2 The white horse.
  • 2. Rev 6:3,4 The red horse.
  • 3. Rev 6:5,6 The black horse.
  • 4. Rev 6:7,8 The pale horse.
  • 5. Rev 6:9-11 Martyrdom.
  • 6. Rev 6:12-17 Great earthquake.
  • 7. Rev 8:1 Silence in heaven.
There’s also something called The Seven Trumpets, which are as follows:
  • 1. Rev 8:6,7 Hail and fire.
  • 2. Rev 8:8,9 A great mountain.
  • 3. Rev 8:10,11 A great star.
  • 4. Rev 8:12 Third part.
  • 5. Rev 9:1-12 First woe.
  • 6. Rev 9:13-21 Second woe.
  • 7. Rev 10:7-11:15-19 Third woe.
And The Seven Vials, which are as follows:
  • 1. Rev 16:2 Sores.
  • 2. Rev 16:3 Sea as blood.
  • 3. Rev 16:4 Fountains blood.
  • 4. Rev 16:8,9 Great heat.
  • 5. Rev 16:10,11 Darkness.
  • 6. Rev 16:12 The Euphrates River dries up.
  • 7. Rev 16:17-21 It is done.
To be honest, I’ve slightly less than no idea what all this gibberish is about, but I don’t think it sounds very nice.


There are seven alphanumeric characters on the majority of British car registration plates.


On the seventh day of the seventh month of the year 1977:
  • Mrs Elizabeth Severn of Yorkshire celebrated her 77th birthday;
  • A child was born in Adelaide, Australia, at 7.07am weighing 7lb 7oz;
  • The financial index in London was down 7.7 at lunchtime;
  • The maximum temperature recorded in London was 77oF;
  • The England / Australia test cricket match reached the 77th day of the tour, and in the 77th over batsman K. D. Walters took his score to 77 – his partner R. W. Marsh was batting #7.


1977 was the year that Punk Rock became a big media event.


It was also the Silver Jubilee of the coronation of HRH Elizabeth II, gawd bless her cotton socks.




T. E. Lawrence began writing The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, his account of the Arab Revolt and his own part in it, shortly after the First World War (losing much of the text, which he later rewrote, while changing trains at Reading in 1919). It was printed for private circulation in a limited edition in 1926 (published 1935); a shortened version, Revolt in the Desert, was published in 1927.


Prior to 900AD England was divided into seven kingdoms.


On 17th January 2002, whilst walking to the shops, I found a five pence coin and then, separately, a two pence coin. Total: seven pence.


The fictional secret agent James Bond, created by the author Ian Fleming, had a licence to kill, the number of which was 007.


The drink Bib-label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda was quickly renamed 7UP after its launch following the great depression of 1929. The origins of the replacement name are unclear, but: 7UP has seven ingredients; the words 'seven up' have seven letters; and the original 7UP bottle held seven ounces.


Blake’s 7 was a British Science Fiction series which aired on BBC Television between January of 1978 and December of 1981.


There is a character called Seven of Nine in the television series Star Trek: Voyager. Body and Soul is the title of episode seven of series seven, in which the doctor is forced to hide by inhabiting Seven of Nine’s body when they are attacked after venturing through Lokirrim space.


The seventh incarnation of the character Doctor Who was played by Sylvester McCoy.


Chicomoztoc is a pseudo-mythical place in Northern Mexico, said to be a mountain containing seven caves. From these caves all the Nahuatl speaking tribes are said to have been born. These seven tribes were the Tecpanecs, Acolhua, Culhua, Matlatzinca, Huexotzinca, Tlaxcaltecs and Cholultecs. Although, to be honest, accounts all contradict each other about who was or wasn't in this line up. Sometimes the Mexica attribute their origins to Chicomoztoc whilst still insisting that their origins were also on the island of Aztlan - hence their original name, Aztecs. It's all very confusing.


The Babylonians and Egyptians had seven sacred planets.


The ancient Alchemists also had seven sacred planets – and they believed that the human soul was governed by seven senses.


The Judaic Elohim {the shining ones} (an order of angels) were seven in number and ruled seven ancient planets.


The Muslims and Cabbalists believe in seven heavens.


In Japanese mythology there are seven Gods of Luck; they feature in songs, stories, folk tales and the theatre. Often they are found sailing in a treasure ship and making use of magical objects, such as a purse that never becomes empty and a cap of invisibility. The group consists of one goddess - Benten - and six gods: Bishamon, Daikoku, Ebisu, Fukurokuju, Hotei and Jurojin.


"All the world’s a stage, and the men and women merely players.
  They all have their exits and entrances
  And one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages"
According to William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616).


There are seven figures, carrying seven flags, in the sculpture het leven is een feest by Tjikkie Kreuger.

(photo – Amerens Hedwich)


You can play sevens in a game of rugby. I think it’s the number of people who play per team.


Landsat 7 is the name of a satellite which was launched on April 15th, 1999. It contains the ETM+ instrument, an eight-band multispectral scanning radiometer capable of providing high-resolution image information of the Earth’s surface.


If you break a mirror, superstition states that you will suffer seven years of bad luck.


Superstition also states that if a person’s birth-date is divisible by seven, they’re supposed to be lucky.


The medieval church published a book (The Famous Historie of the Seven Champions of Christendom (c1597) by Richard Johnson) on the patron saints of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Italy and Spain, collectively known as the Seven Champions.
  • Saint George (England) spent seven years imprisoned by the king of Morocco.
  • Saint Andrew (Scotland) delivered the maidens who had spent seven years in the form of swans.
  • Saint David (Wales) spent seven years asleep in the enchanted garden of Ormandine.
  • Saint Patrick (Ireland) has seven letters in his name. So does ‘Ireland’. (Imprisoned, he considerately dug his own grave using his fingernails).
  • Saint Denys (France) spent seven years in the form of a Hart.
  • Saint Anthony (Italy) was rescued from imprisonment when seven lamps were extinguished.
  • Saint James (Spain) fell in love with a Jewess and was struck dumb for seven years.


The Searfon Barrows in Wiltshire, England - an important Bronze Age burial site - was once known as the Seven Barrows. There are more there, but seven are particularly prominent.


In Greek legend seven heroes made war against Thebes.


In the Arabian Nights, Sindbad made seven great voyages.


There are seven pillars of wisdom to Islam.


Pan, the pagan god, plays on seven pipes.


The lyre of Apollo had seven strings.


The north-west UK radio station ‘Rock FM’ has a logo that looks a little like a cog which has seven bulbous teeth.

7 bulbous teeth


There used to be a superhero comic called DP7. It was about seven people who go to a special clinic to help them cope with their amazing powers. They realise that the place is an institution and try to leave, but can't, so they go on the run.


S Club 7 was the name of a popular music group whose members included Bradley, Hannah, Jo, Jon, Paul, Rachel and Tina. Now one of them's left but I don't know which one (as if it really mattered anyway . . .)


23 Skidoo released an album titled Seven Songs. (There're actually eight tracks on it, and only a couple that you could actually call songs). Cornershop released an album titled When I Was Born For The 7th Time, and Iron Maiden released an album titled Seventh Son of a Seventh Son.


The seventh son of a seventh son is reputed, in many cultures, to be born with magic, clairvoyance or second sight and healing hands - or, more rarely, to be a werewolf. The Romany people believe that the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter tells a particularly good fortune.


Chromosome 7 accounts for approximately 5% of the human genome and it is estimated to be 136 centiMorgans (cM) in length and contain 170 million bp (170 Mb) of DNA.


The Space Shuttle Challenger was the 25th shuttle mission (2+5=7). It was a public relation exercise in which a civilian teacher was to be sent into space to promote education – 11,000 teachers applied and, out of the ten teachers shortlisted, seven judges chose Christa McAuliffe to go. The first attempt to launch was on January 27th, 1986. The actual launch was on January 28th, 1986 and all seemed to be going well until 73 seconds into the mission, when Challenger had reached an altitude of seven miles. There was then a massive explosion which resulted in the deaths of all seven of the crew.


It takes about seven years for your body to regenerate every one of its cells – so you’re a totally different person now to the one you were seven years ago.


The ‘Seven Year Itch’ is a fictitious ailment used to excuse, or attempt to explain, marital infidelity.


On the seventh day of the seventh month each year, the ‘Running of the Bulls’ is held in the Spanish city of Pamplona.


The Island of Seven Cities was a legendary place founded by seven Spanish Bishops.


There is a collection of Oriental medieval tales known as the Seven Masters, or the Seven Sagas, or the Romance of the Seven Viziers.


In English lore the Seven Whistlers are heralds of death, either in the form of birds, dogs or men.


A photograph taken in November 1933 (published on page 37 of the book The Camera Never Lies) shows an Arab with seven fingers on his left hand and seven toes on both feet. If only he’d had an extra digit on his right hand, he’d have had a full set.

7 fingers


The Celtic hero Cu Chullin had seven fingers on each hand, seven toes on each foot and seven pupils in each eye.


The esoteric use of seven is sometimes known as the heptad.


Noah's Ark landed in the seventh month and Noah sent out the dove on the seventh day.


The Roman Pliny’s cure for asthma is given as 3 X 7 centipedes mingled with honey.


The Roman cult-god Mithras lived in a cave with seven doors reached by a ladder with seven rungs. There were seven levels of initiation in his worship.


September used to be the seventh month - hence the name. The Romans had to have two months named after emperors (July and August), thus making September the ninth month. (What have the Romans ever done for us?)


Is this gibberish? No! It is prophecy, a foretelling of the time when the Beast shall return to make demons of men, as he has done at least seven times in the past. Oh, yes! This is not the first plague of demons, but merely the last. The Beast that was is the Beast that is once again. Oh, yes! The seventh seal is broken! Seven times he has risen from the bottomless pit to make war against man, and the seventh shall be the last. "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in the right hand, or on their foreheads - and it shall be called the mark of the Beast!"

7 demons
the signatures of the seven demons.
Left to right and top to bottom, they are Lucifer, Beelzebub, Satan, Astoroth, Leviathan, Elimi, and Baalbarith. They are found in a pact drawn up in 1616 between Lucifer and Urbain Grandier, the minister of St. Peter in Loudon, France.


The average human lifespan is seventy-seven  years.


Seven is sacred to the Greek god Apollo.


Seven is also sacred to the Babylonian goddess Ishtar.


In the film Papillon, the character Henri Charriere is trying to escape from the penal colony Devil’s Island, where he had been sent for a murder that he didn’t commit. The only way off the island is by sea; he discovers that the waves come in series of seven, and that it’s the seventh wave which is big enough to carry him away from the treacherous rocks and take him to the mainland.


Seven colours make up the visible spectrum – this is most often seen in a rainbow.


"A wooden Russian doll which, opened, reveals a smaller but otherwise identical doll which opens to reveal, etc., a lesson in infinity at least to the number of seven dolls."


During the ten days leading up to the 1st January, 2000, fourteen (2 X 7) photographers were asked to travel the British Isles to record the millennium. The resulting book of photographs cost £7.99 (7=7; 9+9=18, 8-1=7) and is possibly the most unenlightening, pointless waste of time ever created by humanity. There’s a nice picture of seven people dressed in red coats looking at seven pieces of white paper taken on 27 / 12 / 1999 in London, though.

7 people in red coats
(And, what do you know, there are seven pictures hanging on the wall behind them).


Pope Pius IV ( who was in office 1559 – 1565) announced a bull, which forbade ‘women of bad character’ from living near churches and stopped girls under the age of seven from ‘selling chicory in the street’. (This was a euphemism: just as street corner flower girls during the Victorian era were sometimes themselves for sale, so too were chicory sellers during the Renaissance).


An e-mail I received on February 5th 2002, regarding the first facts about the Number 7 collection, stated "Hey, don't forget that Prince had a nice song called 7." Prince also released an album called 20Ten which comprises nine songs, then has lots of silent tracks before the secret song at the end, which is track number 77.


There are seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.


There are seven Tongues of Fire (representing Pentecost).


There are seven Virtues.


There are seven Petitions in the Lord’s Prayer.


For Easter 2002 I received a Terry’s Chocolate Easter egg containing seven individual chocolate orange segments.


In one of the first reports from the New World in 1502, Amerigo Vespucci wrote of the natives:
". . . They pierce their own cheeks, lips, noses and ears . . . indeed I saw several people who had seven holes in a single face, each big enough to hold a plum . . . if you were to see such an unusual and monstrous thing as a man with seven stones just in his cheeks or jaw or lips, some of them half a palm long, you would be amazed. And I often considered this and judged that seven such stones must weigh sixteen ounces."


In Caanite myth Lotan, the devil-serpent, had seven heads.


Agni, the Hindu solar god, has seven tongues.


There are seven stages of man in Shakespeare’s As You Like It. These seven stages are:
  • helplessness
  • oppression
  • foolishness
  • false pride
  • complacency
  • ineffectualness
  • decay


I own a deck of Lion playing cards made in Shanghai, China, which inexplicably have the number 77 printed on the bottom end of the pack.



Japanese pagodas traditionally have seven storeys, symbolising the seven stages of reaching heaven.


Numerous priests believe that the number seven merely represents ‘perfection.’


Other priests believe it represents ‘cessation’ or ‘completion.’


Approaching Galgate near Lancaster, England, after leaving the M6 motorway at junction 33 and driving along the A6, motorists drive over seven red strips in the road, which are presumably designed to slow traffic.


At the annual duck race in Galgate, Lancaster, in April 2002 the winning duck was #101, closely followed by #113 – these digits total seven . More significant, however, is the following fact: when I ordered three coffees, one drinking chocolate, two flake cakes, one flapjack and one scone in the canal-side café after the race, the bill came to £7.77p.


As of March 2002 in the English education system, there have been seven major changes to the examination structure since the inception of GCSEs, seven different Secretaries of State for Education since the inception of GCSEs, and seven rounds of public examinations recommended for each pupil up to the age of 18.


Richard John Bingham was the seventh Earl of Lucan. In 1966 he screentested for the role of a British diplomat opposite Shirley Maclaine in Vittorio de Sica’s film Seven Times Seven, but didn’t get the part. After separating from his wife Veronica in 1973 Lord Lucan had custody of his children for seven weeks, after which they returned to live with their mother. Sandra Rivett became nanny to his children in September 1974, seven months after she separated from her husband. On seventh November 1974 Sandra Rivett was murdered at Lord Lucan’s home. The Lord then disappeared, leaving behind gambling debts of £14,177. It was seven months until the inquest into Sandra’s death, which ended after four days with a 70-minute summing up by the coroner. The jury, a legal minimum of seven people, reached a verdict of ‘Murder by Lord Lucan’. This prompted concerns about the branding of an absent ‘innocent until proved guilty’ person. Subsequently, new limits were set on the verdicts that a coroner’s jury was allowed to return in the Criminal Law Act of 1977.


The Magnificent Seven is a film, which appears to have been based on an original story titled The Seven Samurai. It starred Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Eli Wallach, Horst Buchholz, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Charles Bronson (and probably featured many other persons).

The Magnificent Seven


Return of the Seven is, purportedly, the best sequel film to The Magnificent Seven.


And Guns of the Magnificent Seven is another sequel.


Which was followed by The Magnificent Seven Ride!


In magic, there are seven knots in the cord for spellbinding.


The Cornershop album When I was Born for the 7th Time features the lyrics, ‘. . . for the seventh time without tumbling desire’, whatever tumbling desire is, and ‘. . . seventy-seven thousand piece orchestra said, everybody needs a bosom for a pillow’. It may well reference the number seven some more, but I got bored with concentrating and went and did something else after listening to the first two tracks.


And on the seventh day he rested.


The Sumerians, some 6000 years ago, referred to Earth as the Seventh Planet. This was because they started counting from the planet furthermost from the sun, this despite the fact that Pluto wasn’t discovered until the 1930s. They also told their understanding of our solar system on seven stone tablets.