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LEAP DAY! February 29, 2016- Leap Year Explanation

Above: Today's Google logo for leap day. It has a bunny representing the 28th of February next to  one representing the 1st of March, and a bunny representing February 29 leaping between them! See it at, or if you are reading this another day, click here.

2016 is a very special year! Why? It is a leap year, which is rare and only happens every 4 years! On a leap year, an extra day is added to February, which is February 29, commonly called "Leap Day". But why exactly does this happen?

The time it takes Earth to completely orbit the sun is different than the amount a year lasts on the average calendar used (AKA, the Gregorian Calendar). We say that there are 365 days in a year, but there are technically 365.24 days or a little over a day. That is why in order to keep our clocks and calendars in sync with Earth's ever-changing seasons, we add leap seconds, and also leap years.

Believe it or not, originally, the ancient Roman calendar had 355 days! But later, it was changed so that extra hours and a day would be added every 4 years. But Caesar changed it agin. 500 years later it was tweaked to the way we have it today.

Above: One of the previous Google logos celebrating leap day.

But the system will not stay the same forever. In 10,000 years, we will have to rethink it. That is a lot of complicated math right there that you can do for yourself!

Above: Sir David Brailsford, who is a famous Britain cyclist, was born on a leap year.

The odds of having a leap year are small (exactly one in 1,461), but many famous people are born then! Do you know anyone who's birthday is today?


I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, be sure to share it with others and stay tuned for more. View daily as I try to make posts every 1-2 days, and subscribe to this blog to be notified of every new post. Thanks for reading, and BBYYYEEEEE!!!