Why 42? I want to know why 42 is the answer to life, the universe, and everything.
It takes Deep Thought, the supercomputer 7½ million years to compute and check the answer, which turns out to be 42. Deep Thought points out that the answer seems meaningless because the beings who instructed it never actually knew what the Ultimate Question was in the first place. So many years of computing and the answer is some arbitrary number. How could it be?? There must be some meaning for the Number! Turns out it was a joke.
Many theories were proposed, including that 42 is 101010 in binary code, that light refracts off water by 42 degrees to create a rainbow, that light requires 10−42 seconds to cross the diameter of a proton. The author Douglas Adams rejected them all. He was quoted as saying - "The answer to this is very simple. It was a joke. It had to be a number, an ordinary, smallish number, and I chose that one. Binary representations, base 13, Tibetan monks are all complete nonsense. I sat at my desk, stared into the garden and thought '42 will do'. I typed it out. End of story."