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In Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), Quentin Beck tricks Peter Parker into thinking that he is, indeed, from an alternate dimension. He says:

MYSTERIO: This is Earth, dimension 616. I'm from Earth-833. We share identical physical constants, level four symmetry.

It is revealed at the end of the movie that Beck is really a disgruntled ex-employee of Tony Stark's, and really knows nothing about the Multiverse - in fact, it (the Multiverse) didn't come into play in that movie.

However, in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), a variant of Christine Palmer explains to Doctor Strange:

CHRISTINE: Our universe is 838. And we've designated yours 616.

So how did Beck know to call the main timeline's Earth "616"? Was it just some wild guess? A throwaway line meant to trip up the audience? Or did Beck know more than he was letting on?

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    Clearly its purpose was to trip up Peter and by proxy then the audience. But it only works because the audience knows that that is the correct number. Or rather preferred number since from the comics perspective it, the comics main continuity, is 616 and the MCU main continuity is designated 199999. I personally think it is like most Rick's think they are the Rickest Rick that there's also a lot of universes that consider themselves 616. Jul 30, 2022 at 3:53
  • certainly agree with @lucasbachmann,, it was probably there to mess with Peter and us, the audience
    – shanu
    Jul 30, 2022 at 6:14

1 Answer 1

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In Ms. Marvel episode 3, we learn that Dr. Erik Selvig has published papers based on his research on inter-dimensional travel.

Kamala (to Bruno): You're good at math. Do you know anything about interdimensional travel off the top of your head? Specifically that of the Noor dimension? That's N-O-O...
Bruno: Actually, that reminds me of a paper I read. I think it's by Dr. Erik Selvig.

Bruno studying Selvig's papers:
Bruno studying Selvig's papers

Bruno: So I plugged in the energy signatures from our tests on you and I ran a simulation.
[...]
Bruno: Seriously, remember the paper I was talking about? Theoretically, it's possible. [...]

It's likely that Beck or someone from his team of former Stark Industries employees (likely the writer, Guterman) has also read Selvig's papers, and crafted Beck's story about the multiverse and the "616" designation based on that. Relevant dialogue from Spider-Man: Far From Home:

Beck: To Guterman.
[...]
The story you created of a soldier from another Earth named Quentin fighting space monsters in Europe is totally ridiculous and apparently exactly the kind of thing people will believe right now. I mean, everybody bought it.

See this screencap of Dr. Erik Selvig from Thor: The Dark World (2013). Notice the information he's written on the blackboard in the background, and that "616 universe" is written on there. This was pre-Snap, years before the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019).

Erik Selvig with "616 universe" written on the blackboard in the background

Note: This answer is copied from another answer of mine at Movies & TV SE — How did Mysterio (Quentin Beck) know about the multiverse?

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    Even if Beck hadn't read those papers prior to beginning the con, it would have been natural for there to have been earlier conversations between Beck and Shield in which Shield would have attempted to figure out where Mysterio came from. If the 616 number was mentioned by someone Beck was talking to, it's highly likely that Beck would just adopt that and run with it. The rest could just be part of the spiel Beck is spinning to support the con. However, it's likely that at least someone in Beck's crew did read the papers, at least as part of the research to into background for the con.
    – Makyen
    Jul 30, 2022 at 16:02
  • It may be in-universe reasonable that there is some physical constant that can be measured (but doesn't actually do anything to affect physics). Kind of like the fine structure constant by coincidence works out to be close to 1/137 which is really nice for particles being able to exist - but the reason it's not some other value is a mystery- and it could be different in some other bubble in the inflation theory multiverse. See history of en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddington_number for example. Sep 11, 2022 at 10:27

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