Can you have backwards numbers?

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Numbers are useful for counting and measuring things. We use them all the time, even when we’re not thinking about maths. For example, I use them every day, for telling the time, cooking, exercising and driving my car.

Normally when we count, we start at zero and count upwards in whole numbers: one, two, three, and so on… But what happens if we count down from a bigger number – do we have to stop when we get back to zero?

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How long would it take a cheetah to run around the world?

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Cheetahs are big cats that live in Africa, Asia, India and the Middle East. They can run super-fast to catch their prey when they are hunting for food. But running at top-speed is very tiring, so cheetahs only do it for short periods of time.

My 6-year-old wondered, what if a cheetah could run at its top-speed without getting tired…? How long would it take the cat to run all the way around the world?

Let’s do the maths and find out!

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