All hell breaks loose online following launch of bus service '666'

All hell breaks loose online following launch of bus service '666'
In western superstition, the number '666' is dubbed the number of the beast, cryptically associated with the devil among Christians.
PHOTO: Internet screengrabs

SINGAPORE - Does Satan live in Punggol?

Netizens seem to think so after the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced the launch of five new bus services yesterday, one of which, was a service number 666.

In Western superstition, the number '666' is often dubbed the "number of the beast", cryptically associated with the devil among Christians.

"Always suspected Satan was living in Punggol," Sivaraj Pragasm wrote of service 666 which plies between Punggol and the Central Business District.

A Jeremy Neo quipped: "Please blast Highway To Hell by AC/DC on the bus,", referring to the 1979 single by the Australian hard rock band.

How about the song 'The Number of the Beast' by Iron Maiden?

Aptly, the English band even has a customised a Boeing 757 with the call-sign '666'. A concert documentary called 'Iron Maiden: Flight 666' was also released in 2009 about the heavy metal band.

In Chinese numerology, certain numbers are avoided like the plague because they sound similar to words with negative connotations.

The most infamous of the numbers is '4', because it sounds like 'death' in Mandarin.

Tetraphobia - the practice of avoiding the usage of the number '4' - is widespread in Asia. In Hong Kong, some buildings have no floors with the number '4', such as 4, 14, 24, 34, and all floors between 40 and 49.

Comparatively in the West, certain buildings skip the 13th-floor label because it is considered inauspicious.

The phobia of the numeral '4' led a Gabriel Sim to ask in jest: "Dear SBS. Why is there is service 403 and a service 405, but no 404? Is it because error 404 bus not found? (sic)"

The 404 error message is one of the most recognisable errors that is generated when users attempt to reach a broken or dead link on the World Wide Web.

Besides bus service '666', four other new bus services were launched by the LTA yesterday (Feb 22). Unfortunately, what got Singaporeans talking wasn't so much the bus routes and how commuting will get easier, but instead, the bus service numbers.

grongloh@sph.com.sg

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