By Molly “M.E.O.W.” Naaktgeboren, Staff Writer

2016 is a very special year to all of those who love science, space, and time. Why? Because we celebrate leap year. This magical, semi-real day only exists once every four years, and we celebrate that day today.

Now, why does this day only exist every four years?

You might vaguely recall your Earth science class from many years ago telling you that the Earth revolves around the sun once every 365 and a quarter days (suddenly the four years make sense now).

By adding that extra day every four years, we keep consistent with the annual trip we take around the sun every year. The next time this trip will occur is in another four years on Feb. 29, 2020.

Now, I’m going to throw something at you…“leap seconds.” Since the rotation isn’t a perfect 365.25, a leap second is added to the last day of the previous year, like we did on Dec. 31, 2015.

About 187,000 people in the U.S. exist, depending on the leap second and states they were born in, whose driver’s licenses and birth certificates will read either Feb. 29 or March 1. Bummer, right? Currently, an estimated 4 million people in the world celebrate their birthdays every four years, and about one in 1,500 people are born on leap day.

If you’re one of these people, then may the odds, every four years, be in your favor!

 


Featured Image: By Staff of the New Orleans “States” newspaper (Sunday States newspaper front page via [1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons