The Number 36 Mystery

Kirsten Macdonald
3 min readNov 16, 2020
The number 36 is a pretty special kind of number, this graphic on a garage door is a painted number thirty six in white

Here’s a morsel of numerical quirk to chew on and bust apart the mundane. We like the unusual at Ponderings, so we drew a number out of a hat and we got 36.

So why is this number special?

In 1936 Jesse Owens smashed Hitler’s Aryan race in the Olympics. Jesse was an American track and field athlete. At the Berlin Games, he won 4 gold medals. Hosted in Berlin, Germany chancellor Hitler opened the games, and much of the world would be fooled with propaganda.

Many international guests were unaware that the regime had temporarily hidden anti-Jewish signs and the roundup of Roma in Berlin. 800 Roma residing in Berlin were arrested and placed under guard in a special camp in the suburb of Marzahn. Jewish sportspeople were unable to compete. Boycotts rumbled but never took off. Interesting fact; Adi Dassler, the founder of Adidas convinced Owens to wear a pair of his sneakers and Jesse became the first sports-sponsored African American.

Zoologist, activist and superstar academic David Suzuki was born in 1936. The advocate for swift climate change response is a leader around the world and an expert on nature. His foundation states:

The right to a healthy environment is the simple yet powerful idea that everyone should be able to breathe fresh air, drink clean water and eat safe food and to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future.

“When we forget that we are embedded in the natural world, we also forget that what we do to our surroundings we are doing to ourselves.”

According to Jewish legend in every generation, there are 36 saintly people Lamed Vav Tzadikim who will save the world. Unrecognized by their fellow humans and unknown even to each other, they are said to pursue humble occupations such as artisans or water-carriers.

36 is the perfect number. Perfect number: a positive integer that is equal to the sum of its proper divisors. The smallest perfect number is 6, which i s the sum of 1, 2, and 3.

+36 is the country code for Belgium

Ethel Scull 36 Times was Andy Warhol’s very first commissioned portrait and the genesis of his business- making portraits at the request of wealthy celebs.

Andy Warhol photographed by Dennis Hopper in 1963

36 Gods assembled the various parts of the first human before Tāne, the god of forests and birds breathed life into its nostrils, according to Maori legend.

In Numerology the number 36 represents energies that accomplish creative goals for helping humankind.

A checkers board has 36 tiles.

1836 (MDCCCXXXVI) was a leap year and is the year Spain recognizes the independence of Mexico.

Pontius Pilate , the guy who gave the order to kill Jesus, died in 36CE. He was also a Roman knight.

Harvard University was established in 1636.

Barbara Streisand has 36 Studio Albums.

Vintage Vinyl LP Record Album — Barbara Streisand Wet, Columbia Records, Catalog FC 36258, Vocal, United States, 1979

Marilyn Munroe, Bob Marley and Princess Diana all passed away tragically at age 36.

Last but not least in gematria (a form of Jewish numerology), the number 18 stands for “life”, because the Hebrew letters that spell chai, meaning “living”, add up to 18. Because 36 = 2×18, it represents “two lives”. ( Zwerin, Rabbi Raymond A. (September 15, 2002). “The 36 — Who Are They?” )

Now I wonder if you start noticing the number 36?



Kirsten Macdonald

Author, business woman, editor at Ponderings Magazine and digital educator, seasoned with a dark sense of humour — a ponderer spilling ink with gusto.