What Is A Leap Year? Here's What You Need To Know About A 366-Day Calendar

Have you ever met someone who was born on February 29? It's a trip, right? They only get to have a birthday every four years. Instead, they have to celebrate on Feb. 28 or March 1, which I'm sure sounds weird to everyone else but totally normal to them. I mean, they have no choice in the matter. They could be 32 years old, but if we're being super technical here, they've only had eight birthdays. Does this mean they're really 8 years old? Or, are you actually just wondering what is a leap year and what is the damn point of them? Because without leap years, no one would have to deal with this strange problem.

While it's fun to think that people born on leap years age extremely slowly, it's enough to make you wonder why leap years exist and why anyone would make the calendrical system so complicated. However, like so many things in this reality, it's easy to just believe them as they are, right? I mean, have you ever asked yourself why the sky is blue? Why the sun rises in the east and sets in the west? Obviously, there are scientific explanations behind these things, but they just seem so normal that you might not think to figure out why they are the way they are. If you're fed up with just accepting the existence of leap years, here's everything you need to know about why we have them.

What Is The Point Of A Leap Year?

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Before we answer the million dollar question, let's take a look at why there are 365 days in our trusty Gregorian calendar in the first place. Did you know it's all based on how long it takes planet Earth to revolve around the sun? According to TimeAndDate.com, it takes Earth 365.242189 days to make a full revolution around the sun. To make this mind-boggling number a little easier to understand, it translates to 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds. However, do you notice something funny? With only 365 days in a typical calendrical year, where does the additional 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds go? That's right, you guessed it: It all adds up to make the extra day in a leap year.

Without a 366-day leap year taking place every four years, the Gregorian calendar would get all kinds of messed up and confusing. In fact, TimeAndDate.com mentions that without leap years, there would be an additional 24 days to account for after 100 years.

When Is The Next Leap Year?

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Don't worry; you have no reason to get all wigged out about an additional day in 2019, because the next leap year will be 2020 while the last one took place in 2016. However, when you're in the middle of a leap year, it's barely even noticeable. I mean, aside from getting to experience a rare February 29, what other times would it be obvious? Unless you, yourself, were born on that day or you're close with someone who was, leap years tend to blend right in with all the rest.

Is There Anything Significant About A Leap Year?

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Unless you're someone who was born on February 29 and a leap year means that you get to actually celebrate your real birthday, it might not be all that significant to you. However, there are a few interesting things that tend to happen when a leap year takes place. For example, during every single leap year, there is always a U.S. presidential election. Leap years are also when the summer olympics take place. So, even though it might not seem significant at face value, there are some pretty world-changing events that always take place during leap years.

But, naturally, the most important thing about a leap year is the Feb. 29 birthday. Of course, only a Pisces would have to go through all this confusion.