m (Protected "Ultimate Question" (‎[edit=autoconfirmed] (expires 09:27, July 15, 2015 (UTC)) ‎[move=autoconfirmed] (expires 09:27, July 15, 2015 (UTC))))

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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 Questions

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]

Behind the scenes

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 references

  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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