Nobody Is Getting The Right Answer To This Maths Problem | TOTUM
Ben HaywardJune 17th
2021

We all love to have a good argument over a maths puzzle don’t we - well, here’s another opportunity for you!

And as opposed to the usual problem, this one doesn’t actually require any mathematical ability whatsoever, apart from counting that is… 

Yep, all you have to do is count the triangles. Sounds easy right? But apparently hardly anyone has been getting the correct answer.

Shared earlier this year by Longevity Box, the original version was actually posted by Doctor ASKY all the way back 2017.

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As I said, the instructions are simple - count the number of triangles within a big triangle, which is also one of the triangles.

Before we reveal the answer, many, many people have come before you with a whole variety of different answers, some of which are supremely close to being right while others are nowhere near.

The most common answer among the incorrect ones that people give is 18, so if you got that, at least you know you’re not alone. 

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Presumably chucking their toys out of the pram after failing to get the right answer, one person wrote: “What has counting triangles got to do with math? Recognising triangles and counting them is not a math problem – any more than recognising and counting cows.” 

“Geometry has been considered a branch of mathematics for as long as I can remember. At least that’s what I was taught where and when I went to school. I count 10 triangles.”

So, the correct answer is, drum roll…24. Yep 24. That’s a lot more than the 6 I counted - four times as many in fact which proves my counting can’t be that bad… 

So, in case you’re frantically trying to identify these hidden shapes in disbelief, here are all 24 of the little blighters filled out in blue for you. 

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If this one has left you furious, you’re going to have a right old laugh trying to get to the bottom of this equation… 

After someone posted what on the face of it seemed to be a straightforward maths problem, it wasn’t long before all hell broke loose on the social media platform as people debated over two potential answers. 

The controversial question itself, which was posted by @pjmdoll goes as follows: 8 ÷ 2(2 + 2) = ?

Responding to the tweet, one person wrote: "[It's] 1. The amount of people saying 16 need to retake math," another agreed: "I have 2 math degrees it's 1."

Another gave a much more in depth explanation: "8÷2(2x2) = 8÷2(4) = 8÷8 = 1 = Answer is 1. Solved Via "BODMAS" Rule : (B racket) O( f ) D÷ ivision M x ultiplication A+ dditional S-ubtraction.”

However, someone else wrote: "You do not need any acronyms to evaluate 8 ÷ 2(2+2), the result is the same whether you do the + first or the ÷ first.

"Just follow these conventions: 1. Do the parenthesis, 2. Do from Left to Right. The correct result is then 4 X 4 = 16. No memorisation of acronyms."

So, which is it? 

Well, according to author and YouTuber Presh Talwalker, the correct answer is actually 16.

Writing in his blog MindYourDecisions, he said: "According to the order of operations, division and multiplication have the same precedence, so the correct order is to evaluate from left to right. First take 8 and divide it by 2, and then multiply by 2.

"This is without argument the correct answer of how to evaluate this expression according to current usage.

So, why so much confusion? Well apparently it’s to do with the difference between modern and historic interpretations of the order of operations. 

The correct answer today is 16. An answer of 1 would have been correct 100 years ago.

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