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Ultimate Question

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The Ultimate Question is the actual question behind the Ultimate Answer of Life, The Universe and Everything. The Ultimate Question was sought after the supercomputer Deep Thought revealed the Ultimate Answer to be 42. When Deep Thought asked, Loonquawl and Phouchg were unable to say what the actual question was.

Hence, Deep Thought made the plans for the supercomputer Earth, that would solve the Question in ten million years. However, five minutes before it was due to be complete, the Vogons, under the orders of Gag Halfrunt, destroyed it to make a hyperspace bypass.

Possible QuestionsEdit

The mice, who originally commisioned the Earth, needed something to say for their 5D chat show. Due to this, they attempted to form some possible Questions, such as the following:

  • Why?
  • Are we stronger than the elements?
  • What's yellow and dangerous?
  • What do you get when you multiply six by nine?[1]
  • How many Vogons does it take to change a lightbulb?[2]
  • How many roads must a man walk down?: The mice chose this Question as the one they would claim to be the correct one.

Having return to the supercomputer Earth, albeit in a prehistoric stage, Ford Prefect got Arthur Dent to randomly pull Scrabble tiles out of a bag. This resulted in the Question: "What do you get if you multiply six by nine?"[3]


And the Results Are In!Edit

What is The Answer for The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything? 42. That’s it. That’s The Answer . But you never really understood what The Ultimate Question was, did you?  So The Answer doesn’t make sense without it. If you knew what the The Ultimate Question was, you might understand why The Answer is 42, and if that makes sense to you, you are one enlightened dude, dude. Do you wanna know The Ultimate Question? Are you ready? Ok, DON’T PANIC: What do you get if you multiply six by nine?Forty-Two. It works in base-13. Who would write a mathematical joke in base 13? A mathematical God. Need more of an explanation? It's a joke. It's The Joke. The single greatest joke that there ever could be, sort of like a Zen Koan. That's the answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. It came to me in a vision, divine revelation maybe, or it might’ve been a vegetable induced hallucination, either way, it makes completely perfect sense to me, if it does to you, great! If not, then I hope I’ve helped you on your path to enlightenment, Dude. If you want to know the purpose of The Universewhy are we all here, what should we all be doing, how shall we lead our lives, this is the message that the Universe gave me: In one marathon briefing, everything was laid before me; the entire history of the Cosmos, from the Big Bang, to the Gnab Gib. And then there were the multifarious threads from every single disconnected plotline that comes together in the final act, and it all converges into one hilarious singularity of Cosmic Consciousness. In the Beginning, there was OneOne Unitive Consciousness, that was, and is, its own reason for being, Cogito Ergo SumI think, therefore I amI Am Who I Am. And then for some reason, most likely a bit of fun, it got bored one day, this unity divided, and fractured, and compartmentalized itself, a being of pure thought energy and consciousness blew itself apart at the Big Bang, so it could be the storyteller and the audience, without giving any of the twists away to itself. All of us are these shards of consciousness, pieces of a bigger whole that will come back together in the end, every detail matters to the whole, every throwaway line is vital, all of the tragedies and tribulations get redeemed in the end when this massive, ornate, impossibly intricate universe ties everything together for the big reveal.

So relax, and enjoy the ride!

Behind the scenesEdit

It has been noted that in base 13, 6 multiplied by 9 will equal 42. Douglas Adams later joked, "I don't make jokes in base 13".[4]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. This possible Question only appeared in the Douglas Adams novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
  2. This possible Question only appeared in the 2005 movie.
  3. From the Douglas Adams book The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
  4. Number 42 Explained by Douglas Adams - Also Base 13 Explained, h2g2; link here.

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