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You break a mirror; you get 7 years bad luck. A black cat walks past you; its bad luck. There are so many superstitions out there that will supposedly give us bad luck, but none of them are more feared than the granddaddy of them all – Friday the 13th. Dun dun DAAAA!!
Friday the 13th is a day many superstitious fear, but do they really have any reason to fear it? According to LiveScience, they don’t.
Igor Radun of the Human Factors and Safety Behavior Group at the University of Helsinki's Institute of Behavioural Sciences in Finland says that he argued that there is no reason any number would be “lucky” or “unlucky.”
“No data exists, and will never exist, to confirm that the number 13 is an unlucky number,"Radun said.
While he may be correct, there is some scientific research that has been conducted regarding Friday the 13th. The British Medical Journal published a study in 1993 that found “that although there are consistently fewer vehicles on the road during the 13th … the researchers proposed ‘the risk of hospital admission as a result of a transport accident may be increased by as much as 52 percent’ on the 13th.”
Most superstitious people right now would be thinking “Bam! We go the proof right here!” But not so fast. There’s a catch. While the data is authentic, the researchers didn’t intend for their conclusions to be taken so seriously.
"It's quite amusing and written with tongue firmly in cheek," said Robert Luben, one of the study's authors. "It was written for the Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal, which usually carries fun or spoof articles."
Radun explained that “lucky” and “unlucky” numbers are figments of our minds "…they exist only in our heads – or in the heads of some of us – and they might become lucky or unlucky only if we make them as such."
In the end, some people will still choose to believe in a superstition, no matter how insane it is. So is Friday the 13th really unlucky? Ultimately, it’s as unlucky as you think it to be.