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432: Cosmic Key
July 4, 2003 5:19 AM   Subscribe

432: Cosmic Key. 'A compendium of fact, theory and speculation relating to the number 432, and its primary divisors and multiples - 108, 216, 864, 1296; and also the number 9 - being the sum of digits 4+3+2; with excursions into many other mysterious and exotic phenomena. ' Good clean fun.
posted by plep (10 comments total)

All the answers are numbers.

But 1, 3, 1, 8, & 5. What do they mean?

What do maniacs always want?

Recognition, of course.

Precisely. So this number is probably some kind of calling card... Letters in the alphabet.

Of course. 13 is M....MRE.

How about, MR. E.


And another name for Mystery?


Exactly. Mr. E. Mister Edward Nygma.

Wow... never thought I'd quote this....
posted by klaatu at 5:34 AM on July 4, 2003

posted by plep at 5:47 AM on July 4, 2003

'tis a devil number to be sure...
posted by quonsar at 6:22 AM on July 4, 2003


I was much more amused by The Today program yesterday discussing the significance of Beckham being given a shirt with 23 on it - There was a claim by one of the journos that all 'big' signings by Madrid (or who ever hes gone to play for) were given prime numbers on their shirts. They even got a Maths professor in to discus the importance and interestingness of Prime numbers.

Must admit though made me think more of the Law of Fives.
posted by couch at 6:44 AM on July 4, 2003

Whazzup wid dis? I went to the History page and there were NO refernces to 432 or any of these numbers.
posted by Grand Wahzoo at 7:19 AM on July 4, 2003

The historical/mystical significance of 432 actually dates back several millenia, to Babylonian astronomy. Perhaps the most sophisticated version is in the 1000+ year-old Sanskrit system of astronomical calculation, the Surya-Siddhanta.

One of the astronomical cycles these astronomers were interested in was the precession of the equinoxes, that is, the apparent motion of the heavens caused by the slow 'wobble' of the earth about its axis, in turn caused by the pull of the sun and the moon on the earth's rotational bulge (the earth is not a perfect sphere, or even a regularly oblate ('squashed') spheroid), but irregular. The period of the precession of the equinoxes is now calculated at about 25,770 years, but was calculated in ancient times as 25,920 years, or 432 x 60 years.

60 was related to the length of the year: 360, or twelve months of 30 days, plus five extra used for a end of year/new year festival. We still use 60 based arithmetic in a number of ways, particularly to mark out space (degress/minutes/seconds) and time (hours/minutes/seconds).

We don't seem to use 432 so much, but it is still important in other religions, Buddhism for instance. It is used to calculate the length of cosmic cycles, and also in other ways. For example some Buddhist rosaries or malas have 108 beads, or 432/4; Buddhist architecture sometimes employs 108 stupas (religious monuments) (Google link). Given the close numerical links between cosmologically significant numbers such as 60, 432, and other numbers such as 9 (e.g. divisibility by 3), they can be used to generate a large number of other 'cosmically significant' numbers, each of which can be built into architecture. These number do not include, however, the speed of sound in granite, or the square root of the speed of light ;)
posted by carter at 10:16 AM on July 4, 2003

On a tangent, I remember reading (somewhere) that greek geometry had its origin in the laying out of sacred buildings in India. Does anybody know about this, have links?
posted by signal at 11:11 AM on July 4, 2003

As far as I know, Greek geometry was mostly based on conic sections.
posted by slipperywhenwet at 11:34 AM on July 4, 2003

Those 432 freaks are completely off their rocker. How can they not see that 23 is the number, the one, the only? It's everywhere you look.

Even couch mentioned it, fer chrissake. And hello, anybody notice what year it is? Spooky, huh?

432. Gimme a break.
posted by soyjoy at 9:23 PM on July 4, 2003

What 'bout 42?
posted by hobbes at 2:59 AM on July 6, 2003

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