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Weird numbers in Excel

Try it yourself

10/23/2015 minus 6/10/1967 = 5/14/1948

10/23/2015 minus 5/14/1948 = 6/10/1967

12/31/2015 minus 10/23/2014 = 70 days

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  1. How come a date minus a date gives a date? The reason is that internally, Excel represents a date as just a number. Specifically, Day 1 is 31/12/1899. Logically, it should have been 1/1/1900, but Lotus123 first had a bug which assumed that 1900 was a leap year, so it's off one day as explained here: https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/office/en-US/f1eef5fe-ef5e-4ab6-9d92-0998d3fa6e14/what-is-story-behind-december-30-1899-as-base-date?forum=accessdev

    What does that mean? That what you found out means that The number of days since the beginning of the 20th century until Sept 23 2015 is the sum of the number of days in the 20th century up to 5/14/1948 and 6/10/1967 resp.

    Of course, there is no hard foundation to assume that there is any significance in the number of days in any certain century at all, so it's probably just a freak accident. After all, if you add these two "dates" (rather, date differences to end of 1899), it must come out at /some/ date, and 23/10/2015 is just as good as any.

  2. Mike - I agree. On this blog we consistently point out that many of these things probably have no meaning at all. I thought it curious, especially given some other pointers to October 2015.



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