This is one of three Friday the 13ths on '12 calendar

Apr 13, 2012 By Carolyn B. Tyler

Today is Friday, the 13th, one of three supposed unlucky days this year.

A Friday, the 13th occurred in January, and another is due in July.

Friday the 13th can only fall on months which the first day of the month is a Sunday and three is the maximum which can occur in any year which is not a Leap Year.

A look through future calendars show no more than three for decades to come.

Three Friday the 13ths occur again in 2015.

The usual number of Friday, the 13ths, is two. But this year is even stranger in that exactly 13 weeks pass between the first and second occurrence, and between the second and third.

Statisticians say that hasn't happened since 1984, which was, like 2012, a leap year.

The next time this will happen is 2040, says an expert known as Dr. 13.

Fear of Friday, the 13th is known as triskaidekaphobia, meaning fear of the number 13, or paraskevidekatriaphobia, a concatenation of the Greek words Paraskev, meaning "Friday", and dekasteres, meaning "thirteen."

According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute, in Asheville, N.C., an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day making it the most feared day and date in history.

Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed.

It's been estimated that as much as $900 million is lost in business on this day strictly due to superstition about the supposedly fateful date.

Despite this, representatives for both Delta Air Lines and Continental Airlines say that their airlines do not suffer from any noticeable drop in travel on those Fridays.

The aforementioned Dr. 13, who is actually Tom Fernsler, a University of Delaware math professor, also pointed out that in a 400-year period, the 13th falls on a Friday 688 times.

That's more than any other day of the week.

So, good luck today.

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