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Can you solve the riddle and escape Hades? - Dan Finkel

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  • 1,822 Questions Answered
  • TEDEd Animation

Let’s Begin…

The underworld is overcrowded, and Zeus has ordered Hades to let some spirits out. Hades arranges all the souls of the dead in a line before Cerberus. When one of his three heads bites down on the soul in front of it, they’ll get returned to the land of the living. Anyone to the left must stay in Hades forever. Can you pick the right spot and escape the underworld? Dan Finkel shows how.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Daniel Finkel
  • Director Igor Coric
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Storyboard Artist Igor Coric
  • Animator Vuk Palibrk
  • Art Director Vuk Palibrk
  • Sound Designer Stephen LaRosa
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Fact-Checker Eden Girma
  • See more
Additional Resources for you to Explore
Hermes is willing to give you a chance to escape from Hades, but to have a shot at the opportunity, you’ll need to find the best place in line. Where will Cerberus’s bite be most likely to free you from Hades?

What if Cerberus had 4 heads instead of 3, but everything else was the same. What place in line would be best in that case? What about 5 heads? 6 heads? Can you generalize the argument to any number of heads?

Customize This Lesson

Create and share a new lesson based on this one.

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Daniel Finkel
  • Director Igor Coric
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Storyboard Artist Igor Coric
  • Animator Vuk Palibrk
  • Art Director Vuk Palibrk
  • Sound Designer Stephen LaRosa
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Fact-Checker Eden Girma
  • See more