This Friday is the first 13th day of 2012, and while some people brush it off as plain superstition, there are those who fear serious implications associated with this day.
While millions across the world believe doomsday is right around the corner, many are unaware of the basis for such anxiety.
The superstition itself dates back to ancient Babylon times, where the code of Hammurabi omitted the 13th law. For many Christians till date, Friday the 13th is considered unlucky as it represents Judas - the apostle said to have betrayed Jesus and the 13th guest at the last supper on Good Friday.
As per the Mayan calendar, the 13th Baktun which falls on Dec. 21, 2012, is considered the day of the apocalypse. In the Georgian calendar, Friday the 13th is set to appear two more times this year. However, whether this superstition holds much weight can't be said with absolute conviction.
Here's a roundup of five fun-filled facts surrounding Friday and the number 13.
1. The fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia (Frigga being the free-spirited goddess after whom Friday is named and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number 13).
2. As many as 21 million Americans are afflicted by this phobia, according to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina. It's been estimated that $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day, because people will not fly or do business they would normally do, Donald Dossey, founder of the institute, told National Geographic.
3. According to TIME magazine, a child born on Friday the 13th will be unlucky for life.
4. Most tall buildings in the U.S. don't have a 13th floor while some airport terminals don't have a 13th gate.
5. Many triskaidekaphobes (those who fear the number 13) point to Apollo 13's ill-fated mission to the moon on April 13.
6. The number was feared to such an extent even among top officials in the country that, in the 1880s, an organization called The Thirteen Club was created to demystify the belief that 13 people seated together at a table will die within a year of each other.
7. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had an abnormal fear of the number 13. The President would never host 13 guests at a meal and refused to travel on the 13th day of any month.
8. The dollar bill features 13 steps on the pyramid, 13 stars above the eagle's head and in its right talon holds an olive branch with 13 leaves and 13 olives. A string of pearls toward the edge of the bill can also be seen. Although the number commemorates the country's original 13 colonies, some see it as a contributing factor to the slumped economy.