World Environment Day and 17291

Yesterday (5th June) was World Environment Day. I wouldn’t say I’m a green fanatic but I do try my best to recycle, use the air conditioner only when it is unbearable and bring my own non-plastic shopping bags whenever I know I was going shopping. According to this webpage, a total 17,291 species are known to be facing extinction.

I wonder what is the source of the number. If you google World Environment Day 17291, 17 of the first 20 webpages has a variation of that same sentence. Out of these 17 only this one suggests that the number is not exact. I quote (emphasis mine)
“In totality, there are roughly 17,291 species that are on the threatened list”

The number 17291 stood out for me. It turns out to be prime! In fact wolfram alpha tells me it is a twin prime. No prizes for working out which is its twin. Of course, 1729 is the famous Ramanujan Taxicab number. Perhaps that’s why it looked familiar.

Update 1: Google’s spider is amazing. I just googled 17291 and this post has been indexed within 13 minutes.

Update 2: The source seems to come from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and this blog post has a breakdown. So the number does appear to be exact at least at a certain point in time.

This entry was posted in General, Number Theory, Statistics, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>