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When you deleted /dev/sda3, you deleted the partition table entry - not the data on the partition. When you recreated the partition in the same place, the data was still available.

The same process is used to resize a partition - delete it, then create a new partition starting at the same place but ending somewhere else to make a larger or smaller partition.

**note: resizing the partition is not the same as resizing a filesystem. Back up your data before low level disk operations like this.