Thanks for your input.
It would seem that some enterprising webmasters treat forums as an indispensable part of any website (like other common things like graphics, Flash animations, frames, menus, downloads, etc.), that high number makes more sense now.
In my whole life I saw about 40 phpBB forums, about 25 vBulletin forums, about 30 Invision forums, and about 10 other kinds of forums. So I extrapolated, and came up with about 175 phpBB forums. The grand majority of websites I visit have no forum at all, let alone a phpBB one.
But with webmasters like TheCharmed01 sprouting up everywhere, that estimate would have been somewhere around 250,000 phpBB forums.
guess what, you are on the internet, it doesn't make any difference how many cars or people or skyscrapers you have where you live.
this is the world wide web here.
back in the dinosaur days of the early 90s when the web first started and I first got online.
I spent days without sleep just surfing the web, I couldn't believe how much information and how many different web sites there were.
Either, you don't spend more that a few minutes a week online or your interests are very limited to only have seen maybe 40 bulletin boards in your life.
have you ever tried searching for anything using google?
try searching for something, anything, then scroll through the returns, chances are that many, many of the returns will point to sites that have bulletin boards on them.
You might be surprised to find that there are thousands of websites out there about anything in the world that you could dream up to search for.
hey, open up, broaden your horizons, there are a lot of wonderful, interesting things out in the world.