Derived from both Greek and Latin, 'tri' has traditionally meant 'three'.
As in trio. Triathlon. And that classic shape we all know and love, the 'triangle'.
Science fiction writer HG Wells also immortalised the three-legged 'tripod' in his pioneering 1897 work The War of the Worlds, in which three-legged war machines invade Earth from Mars, via Woking.
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However, sums appear to have evaded the Royal Mint in its new £2 coin, made in honour of the iconic British novelist, marking the 75th anniversary of his death.
Instead, this tribute has four legs, making it a quadruped rather than a tripod.
The coin has been created by US coin and medal designer Chris Costello, who also drafted a £2 coin to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage for the Royal Mint last year.
He designed $10 gold coins for the US Mint to commemorate the date too.
“I was inspired by vintage HG Wells book covers and movie posters. Who can forget the spine-chilling jellyfish-like robots conceived in the promotions for The War of the Worlds?” he said, on the unveiling of the coin.
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“That creature was my favourite and I created my own interpretation of it that would take advantage of the circular canvas and appear to climb out of the composition.
“I was very excited to discover that I won the competition for this £2 coin as it is my second design sculpted and produced by The Royal Mint.
“As an American, I am honoured to be included among The Royal Mint’s winning designers and am very happy that my HG Wells design will document the legacy of this extraordinary author and visionary for many years to come.”
The blunder is now picking up some steam on social media...
This is a new commemorative HG Wells £2 coin for 2021.
Now, as someone who particularly likes one of his very famous stories, can I just note that the big walking machine on the coin has four legs?
The man famous for creating the martian TRIpod.
— HolBolDoArt🏳️🌈 (@HolBolDoTweet) January 4, 2021
A spokesperson for The Royal Mint said: “We have created a new £2 coin to celebrate the life and works of HG Wells. The coin depicts scenes from famous works such as War of the Worlds and the Invisible Man as imagined by designer Chris Costello.”
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