Dec 31st Babies Become 2-year-olds Next Day, in S. Korea

This is strange: Based on very old conventions for assigning ages, babies in South Korea are given the age of one year old when they are born plus they get an additional year added to their official age on January 1st. This results in some 2 year old infants.

Just two hours after Lee Dong Kil’s daughter was born on New Year’s Eve, the clock struck midnight, 2019 was ushered in, and the infant became 2-years-old. She wasn’t alone, though it happened for her quicker than most: Every baby born in South Korea last year became 2 on Jan. 1.

According to one of the world’s most unusual age-calculating systems, South Korean babies become 1 on the day of their birth and then get an additional year tacked on when the calendar hits Jan. 1. A lawmaker is working now to overturn the centuries-old tradition amid complaints that it’s an anachronistic, time-wasting custom that drags down an otherwise ultramodern country. …

Via wral

The article says the origins of this system may date back to a time when the ancient Asian numerical system had no concept of zero.
It is easy to forget that zero had to be invented as an idea. According to an article in Scientific American, this happened about 5,000 years ago, making it a surprisingly recent development in human history.
Obviously there were baskets with no fruit in them before the invention of zero, but why make a note of nothing? No need for zero in commerce. As far as ages, how could a baby be zero when it is obviously there? The baby is in the basket, so it is one, one year old. It makes sense, sort of… but leaves a lot of questions open.

The first evidence we have of zero is from the Sumerian culture in Mesopotamia, some 5,000 years ago.

The first recorded zero appeared in Mesopotamia around 3 B.C.The Mayans invented it independently circa 4 A.D. It was later devised in India in the mid-fifth century, spread to Cambodia near the end of the seventh century, and into China and the Islamic countries at the end of the eighth.

Via SciAm

It is fun to think back far into ancient human times. Our species first appears around 200,000 years ago, but we don’t know much about humans during the first 190,000 years. There was a lot of ice and we almost got wiped out by a super volcano.

There is also the great genetic bottleneck event about 70,000 years ago, possibly linked to the eruption of the Toba supervolcano, during which the human population dropped to maybe just a few thousand people worldwide. It would have taken some time for populations to recover from that event.

Via Forbes

The Toba supereruption was a supervolcanic eruption that occurred about 75,000 years ago at the site of present-day Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia. It is one of the Earth‘s largest known eruptions. The Toba catastrophe theory holds that this event caused a global volcanic winter of six to ten years and possibly a 1,000-year-long cooling episode.

Via Wiki

It took us 70,000 years to get from a few thousand humans to over 7.3 billion, at least that’s what they tell us.
What if some places counting, however, are using an ancient system that starts counting at a billion and there are really only a few hundred million of us?
Just kidding.

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