The Mathematician That Predicted His Own Death

Samuel Reason

Abraham de Moivre was a very famous mathematician in France who is still studied and talked about today for his Moivre formula. But he is most famous for his work in normal distribution and in probability theory, simple to put because he was able to apply his theory to his own life & predict his own death.

famous-mathematicians.com

One of his fascinations was studying mortality and putting together tables with his findings. He actually is the mathematician credited with spending the most time trying to connect death with numbers. As a result, he put together theory and a formula which could predict a day a person was going to die.

It all started when he started to age and notice that his sleep duration was shifting, Moivre discovered that he had begun to sleep 15 more minutes than normal. And this was increasing, every night he was sleeping a little longer. Putting the math together was trivial for a mathematician of his stature, and he quickly figured out that on November 27th, 1754 his sleep time would add up to 24 hours.

This was what Moivre believed was the way to pinpoint when you would die, his theory outlined that if you were sleeping 24 hours at 80 plus years old then it surely meant you would never wake up. And guess what? Abraham de Moivre died on November 27, 1754.

Though it may just have been stubbornness, and a desire to be right. Maybe he just wanted the annals of time to keep him listed as an amazing statistician. When the day did come he did indeed die, but he just stayed in bed forcing himself to sleep the 24 hours. In fact, the official cause of his death was indeed sleepiness.

So in reality, it was either a strange coincidence or just sheer luck that put him into an eternal sleep. Though mathematicians may try to tell you otherwise, it looks like maths did not really have anything to do with it.

Next Article
  • The Legend Of Snake Rock In Naka Cave

    Naka Cave is found in Phu Langka National Park in Thailand, and in Thai it means snake. There is a real reason for this, the cave looks like a giant snake. The texture of the stones appears to resemble the scaled skin of a snake. Over the years there have been hundreds of articles publishing...

    Read More
  • Reindeer In A WW2 Submarine

    One of the more unusual moments of World War II was when a British submarine transported around a reindeer it had been given by the Russians as a gift. In 1941, the crew of the HMS Trident was given a reindeer by the USSR navy. The reindeer then spent the next 6 weeks living with...

    Read More
  • Byzantine Emperor Justinian II Was Called The Slit Nosed

    Justinian II or as many called him The Slit Nosed, was the last Byzantine Emperor of the Heraclian dynasty. This was a dynasty that took place from 685 to 695, and then again from 705 to 711. Justinian II had extremely ambitious plans and was passionate about growing the empire. His aim was to restore...

    Read More
  • The 2003 Slammer Virus That Took The Whole Internet Offline

    An infamous virus that to this day remains a complete mystery wreaked havoc on the world in 2003. Within 10 minutes it infected over 400,000 computers total, and within 40 minutes it doubled its population. Crucially the computer virus infected five of the thirteen root DNS servers, which crippled the world’s internet. In fact, most...

    Read More
  • The Famous Actress From The 1900s With No Footage

    Valeska Suratt was an American stage and silent film actress who became very popular during the early 1900s. During her career she appeared in over 11 silent films, garnering fans across the whole country. Incredibly despite being so popular, there is no known footage still in existence of her acting. Because in 1937 the infamous...

    Read More
  • The Eccentric Italian World War I Pilot Guido Keller

    Not many Italian pilots during World War I became famous, but the eccentric Guido Keller definitely was. He would be flying reading philosophy books and even had a full set of china tea in his plane. In fact, most of his battle reports started as I was reading X book, when suddenly I spotted… [caption...

    Read More
  • Many Medieval Manuscripts Describe Knights Fighting Snails

    In what appears to be great battles, many medieval manuscripts describe knights fighting with what seem to be snails. There are even drawings to confirm, but no historian really knows what this means at all. No one has cracked the case of why a knight has to fight a tiny little snail. Potentially, there was...

    Read More
  • Sunflowers Follow The Fibonacci Pattern

    What some thought was just a hypnotic pattern found in sunflowers, nature was actually following a strict mathematical path. It can only be described as nature literally blowing our minds. Sunflowers are definitely beautiful and their giant yellow heads flowing the sunlight are iconic. Some of the most picturesque landscape paintings or photos show bright...

    Read More