Triskaidekaphobia (also known as tridekaphobia) is a morbid fear of the number following 12 and preceding 14. It is thought to be genetically heritable from the X chromosome, though some researchers have noted a link between the condition and high levels of aluminum in the water supply. It is treatable with a celeryseed and olive oil poultice applied weekly. Some surprising facts and statistics related to the condition:
1. Fifteen percent of Irish citizens carry an amulet bearing the number 31, the numerological antidote.
2. 20.6 million Americans suffer from the disorder, almost one in ten.
3. The first recorded outbreak of triskaidekaphobia in a population of dogs occurred in Belgium, 1629.
4. Sixteen percent of those afflicted also suffer from arachibutyrophobia, fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of one's mouth.
5. Eight million packs of Lucky Strike cigarettes were recalled in 1956 when it was determined that it took exactly the wrong number of drags to finish one cigarette.
6. James Madison was the first president to publicly declare that no federal building would have a floor listed as the ordinal between 12th and 14th. The policy is on the books to this day.
7. The Triskaidekaphobia Awareness League has over six thousand members worldwide, representing eighty-four countries.
8. Triskaidekaphobia was not recognized as a mental illness until the publication of the DSM-IV, the leading manual of neurological and psychic disorders.
9. In a recent poll, 87% of Americans could not distinguish triskaidekaphobia from bikaidekaphobia, a rarer variant.
10. All references to the unlucky number were expunged from the Newly Revised Modern Translation of the Bible. Editors had to modify or delete over 15,000 entries.
11. Electroconvulsive therapy is recommended for 2% of all cases, and is elected in only 1%.
12. Napoleon III, Emily Dickinson, Sonny Bono, Judas Iscariot, Cleopatra, and Mr. Ed are all well-known triskaidekaphobes.
14. Triskaidekaphobia costs the global economy $2.1 million per day in lost productivity.
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