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Facts about the number 3

In Greek mythology Cerberus was a dog with three heads.
In Greek mythology Cerberus was a dog with three heads.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 are the ten numbers that make up every other number! The number three is the third number and also one of the most important. Three is both a prime number and a triangular number and it has a lot of numerological symbolism attached to it.

Three is associated with words like triad, triplet, tern, trio, and trinity. Traditionally, most oaths are repeated three times and there are three parts to a story—the beginning, the middle and the end. Three is also tied into certain sports and games. For instance, in football (called soccer in America) a “hat trick” describes a situation where the same player scores three goals in a row. Likewise, in bowling when a player gets three strikes in a row the achievement is called “a turkey.” In baseball if a player fails to hit the ball after three swings with the bat then they are “out.”

Three can also be an important number in certain outdoors games. For example, a three-legged race is a popular party activity that is run by two people who each have on of their legs tied to their partner's. Three is also important to the measurement system. There are three barleycorns in an inch, three feet in a yard, and three miles in a league.

Below are five facts about the number 3:

"Tri" Means Three
"Tri" Means Three Chris Jackson/Getty Images

"Tri" Means Three

“Tri” means three. Hence, triangles are figures that have three sides. Tripods are fixtures for cameras that have three legs and a tricycle has three wheels. Tricolor flags (like the French, Italian and American flag) are called tricolors because they contain three colors. The dinosaur called “triceratops” had three horns.

Three and Math
Three and Math Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Three and Math

Three also appears in several mathematical concepts. For instance, trigonometry is a branch of mathematics based on measuring triangles and three-dimensional (sometimes called 3D) describes something that has length, width and depth.

Three and Mythology
Three and Mythology Mario Tama/Getty Images

Three and Mythology

In Greek mythology many monsters and creatures had numerous heads that were all multiples of three. For example, Cerberus was a three-headed dog and Scylla was a sea monster with six heads.

Three and Plants
Three and Plants Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Three and Plants

If the total number of petals on a flower equals a multiple of three then the flower is probably from a group of plants called “the monocotyledons.” These plants include crocuses, lilies, tulips, and daffodils.

Three Makes Things
Three Makes Things Christopher Polk/Getty Images for VH1

Three Makes Things

Many things can also be created by using three elements. For instance, braids are made by weaving three strands of hair together and most colors can be mixed from the three primary colors of red, yellow and blue.