Did 9:21 P.M. on June 21, 2021 Mark ‘Once in a Lifetime’ Run of Numbers?

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At 21 minutes past 9 this evening, it will be the 21st minute of the 21st hourn
Image via Meme

Claim

9:21 p.m. on June 21, 2021, marked "the 21st minute of the 21st hour of the 21st day of the 21st week of the 21st year of the 21st century."

Rating

Origin

In June 2021, social media users enthusiastically shared a meme that proclaimed 9:21 p.m. on June 21 would mark a numerically extraordinary moment:

“At 21 minutes past 9 this evening, it will be the 21st minute of the 21st hour of the 21st day of the 21st week of the 21st year of the 21st century.”

Some who considered the meme would have quickly realized it was inaccurate, but many did not. The allure of such a remarkable level of synchronicity appears to have been too much for some to resist, but in fact, the meme breaks down in two places: 

  • The “21st day of the 21st week” is impossible because a week only has seven days.
  • The “21st week” of any year is May 21-27, whereas June 21 falls during the 25th week of the year.

However, with a slight tweak, the meme could have produced an accurate and enjoyable run of numbers related to 9:21 p.m. on Jan. 21, 2021 (or 2020, depending on your viewpoint): 

  • “21st minute of the 21st hour” — 9:21 p.m. Takes place once a day
  • “21st hour of the 21st day” — Takes place once a month
  • “21st day of the 21st year” — Takes place once every 100 years
  • “21st year of the 21st century”  — Takes place once every 1,000 years.

Social media users with a firmer grasp of the numbers did indeed mark that occasion back in January 2021:

The breakdown shown above is based on a relatively strict, historically accurate interpretation that views 2021 as the 21st year of the 21st century, with that century beginning on Jan. 1, 2001. However, the 21st century is also commonly interpreted as having begun on Jan. 1, 2000, hence 2020 would be viewed as the 21st year of the century, and the “magic moment” in question would be 9:21 p.m. on Jan. 21, 2020. What could be more magical than strict, historical accuracy, though?