1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 0…with just these ten symbols, we can write any rational number imaginable. But have you ever wondered how these numbers first came about? Early humans counted by carving tally marks into cave walls, bones, wood or stone. This worked well for small numbers, but as life became more complex and the number of things to count grew, the tally system was no longer sufficient. As civilizations developed, they came up with different ways of writing down numbers. Greek and Egyptian systems were simply extensions of tally marks, with new symbols added to represent larger values. Roman numerals added another twist, using just seven symbols that could be arranged to represent any positive number by adding the value of each symbol to get the total value. But, all these systems were still impractical for writing large numbers. The Babylonians improved on these early systems by developing a positional system in which symbols could be reused by assigning them different values based on their position in the sequence. But it was Indian mathematicians that finally perfected the positional system using ten different symbols to represent the numbers. Over the next few centuries, Arab merchants, scholars and conquerors began to spread this system into Europe. This is why it later came to be called the Hindu-Arabic number system and it became the most commonly used number system in the world. There was also a key breakthrough of this system which was independently developed by the Mayans, and that was the number 0. Older positional systems didn’t have a 0 and had a blank space in its place which made some numbers hard to distinguish, like 75 and 705. The understating of 0 as both a value and placeholder made writing down numbers clearer and easier to understand.
But enough with history, numbers are also fascinating and fun! Let’s take the number 9 for example. It is considered a “magic” number because if you multiply any number by 9 and add all the digits of the new number together, the sum will always add up to 9. Try it! And did you know that 7 is the most popular “favourite number” and the most significant number across religions, myths, superstitions, and cultures…there are seven colours in a rainbow, seven notes on a musical scale, seven seas, seven continents, seven days of the week, seven virtues, seven phases of the moon, Snow White befriended seven dwarfs, James Bond is 007…can you think of other prominent uses of the number 7?!
CrACKLES has one more way for you to have fun with numbers. Our new CrACKLES numbers, topped with mouth-watering, picture-perfect marshmallows, jellies, sour sticks, lollipops, chocolate, jelly beans, and hard and soft candies are a super fun way to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and more. So, get creative and order one, or more 😉, and put a smile on someone’s face!
- the CrACKLES team -