The first time I heard of the “virgins” awaiting a martyr, it was seven. That was in the mid-seventies. The next I heard of them, it grew to 42. Now it’s 72?
I somehow think of the parlor/party game “Rumors” or “Gossip.” A person whispers something into someone’s ear, who whispers it to the next person, etc. When it get back to the original whisperer, it is not even CLOSE to what was originally said.
The tale grows with the telling.