Skip to main content
ABC News
Significant Digits For Monday, Jan. 7, 2019

You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the numbers tucked inside the news.

$3 million fish

At the first auction of the year at Tokyo’s Toyosu market, a 612-pound bluefin tuna sold for a record $3 million. That’s about $4,900 a pound, which literally makes no sense. The fish, according to the Associated Press, normally sells for up to $40 a pound. To boot, bluefin tuna is a threatened species. [Associated Press]

1 to 4 billion years from now

The end of the world is nigh. Or at least much nigher, according to new research in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The prevailing view has been that our Milky Way was due to crash into its neighboring Andromeda galaxy sometime between 6 and 8 billion years from now. However, the new research suggests that there is a good chance the Milky Way may instead crash into the Large Magellanic Cloud in only some 1 to 4 billion years from now. So it goes … [The Atlantic]

10-year-old Go professional

A girl in Japan will at 10-years-old become the youngest ever professional player of Go, an ancient and complex strategy board game. Sumire Nakamura, the daughter of a national champion, began playing the game when she was 3. [BBC]

At least 30 gold miners

At least 30 gold miners in Afghanistan were killed in a landslide in the poor, mountainous northeastern part of that country, officials announced over the weekend. They had been sifting for gold in a riverbed when rocks and debris came down the mountainside. [The Washington Post]

5.5 percent of the TSA workforce

The government shutdown has entered its third week, and its effects have rippled to airports, where an increased number of TSA agents have been calling off work. For instance, 5.5 percent of the workforce at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport called out on Friday, up from 3.5 percent “on a normal day,” and as many as 170 TSA workers at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport called out each day last week. [CBS News]

277 containers

A Panamanian-flagged cargo ship owned by the Mediterranean Shipping Company lost 277 giant shipping containers during “heavy weather” in the North Sea — though containers do sometimes go overboard, that’s a remarkably high number. Some of those containers contained tons of toxic peroxide powder. And late last week, a bag of that substance was discovered on a beach in Schiermonnikoog, a Dutch island near Germany. [The New York Times]

Love digits? Find even more in FiveThirtyEight’s book of math and logic puzzles, “The Riddler.” It’s in stores now! I hope you dig it.

If you see a significant digit in the wild, please send it to @ollie.

Oliver Roeder was a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied game theory and political competition.