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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Whenever the ID matches an answer instead of a question. All questions and answers on the site share ID numbers and are stored as posts which are indiscriminate. The questions and answers all share the same number line.

So the "first" question 1 is started, which received answers 2, 3, and 4, which would make the "second" question have an ID of 5.

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I believe tag wikis and their excerpts also share on the same number line, but I'm not 100% sure. –  animuson Sep 25 '12 at 3:46

Note that even though they follow questions in the URL, the numbers are post IDs, shared between questions and answers (and a few other types of post).

Normally the redirection happens when the post represents a question (redirects to the question, and tries to jump to the answer with the requested ID using a fragment identifier). But apparently this redirect happens even when the parent question is deleted.

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