## Numbers from one to thirty-one ... a page for each day of the month

... and for similar facts about other numbers see Numbers: Facts, Figures & Fiction.

# 16

= 2 x 2 x 2 x 2
A fourth power.

= 4 x 4
A square.

= 2 x 8

= 1 + 3 + 5 + 7

There are 16 ounces in a pound.

Sixteenmo is the size of a book made by folding each sheet of paper into 16 leaves.

In biology, if a cell divides itself in half every 30 minutes, you will have 16 cells in 2 hours.

16 pieces are used by each player in a game of chess.

Caterpillars typically have 16 legs. But when they emerge from their chrysalis as a butterfly or moth, they have only six legs.

Under British law, when you reach the age of 16 -

• you can leave school,
• you can marry with parental consent (or without it in Scotland),
• if you are convicted of an imprisonable offence, you can be given a community service order,
• if you are a boy, you can join the armed forces with parental consent,
• you can drive an invalid carriage or a moped,
• you can buy cigarettes and tobacco,
• you can have beer, cider or wine with a meal in a restaurant,
• you may become a street trader.

16 as a 4 by 4 square.

This compass rose is divided into 16 points: north, north-north-east, north-east, east-north-east, east ... and so on. Old maps and charts often included a rose like this to show the compass directions.

16 pebbles feature in Samuel Becket's novel Molloy which has one of the longest and most detailed accounts of someone working at a mathematical problem in a work of fiction -

I took advantage of being at the seaside to lay in a store of sucking-stones. They were pebbles but I call them stones. Yes, on this occasion I laid in a considerable store. I distributed them equally between my four pockets, and sucked them turn and turn about. This raised a problem...

The following six pages of the novel describe different solutions to the problem of ensuring all 16 pebbles are sucked equally often.

16 chocolates packed as 2 by 2 by 4.

Updated 28 November 2003