Probably of Babylonian origin, an abacus is a calculating instrument that uses beads that slide along a series of wires or rods set in a frame to represent the decimal places. It is the ancestor of the modern digital calculator. Used by merchants in the Middle Ages throughout Europe and the Arabic world, it was gradually replaced by arithmetic based on Hindu-Arabic numerals. Though rarely used in Europe past the 18th century, it is still used in the Middle East, China, and Japan.

In Moby, the abacus teaches students how to deftly compose and decompose numbers while having fun. While students compete to reach the highest level (the Fighting Ninja Panda!), they also learn how to add and subtract huge numbers in their heads!

## Why does Numbers use the abacus?

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