Puzzles and challenges involving math are usually quite popular here on The Laugh Club. They cause (mostly civil) debates in the comments about which answer is right and which one is wrong.

With that in mind, we’ve brought a math problem that has raised many arguments around the world. Even math professors have been involved in the discussions, precisely because the correct result is quite tricky to agree on.

Now, however, people seem to have finally come to an agreement.

This math problem looks like any regular puzzle, but you’ll soon realize it is anything but ordinary.

Here is the challenge

Here is the problem creating so much fuss online.

Can you solve it?

The Laugh Club / Newsner

Take your time and think a little, don’t stress. Below, we will show you the explanation from a math professor regarding this challenge.

Here is the professor’s solution

It seems solutions 1 and 16 are equally as common – and there is a reasonable explanation for this.

Hannah Fry, a professor of mathematics at University College London, who has also released two renowned math books, believes that the way the problem is set up creates room for uncertainty.

Since 2 + 2 is inside parentheses – it becomes 4. That part is easy. But what does the rest of the equation result on?

Will it be 8 ÷ (2 × 4) = 1, or (8 ÷ 2) x 4 = 16? It can be interpreted in two different ways – and with the little information we have, it is impossible to determine which way is the only correct one, she tells the Daily Mail.

The problem is interpretation

Hannah Fry says that both 1 and 16 can be the correct answer. It is simply a matter of how to interpret the equation.

Image source: Pixabay

Many others on social media, like the 35-year-old professor of mathematics, have concluded that both answers can be considered correct – but some point out that there will be different solutions depending on which mathematical rules you stick to.

Particularly the direction for reading and writing that is used in your country.

Despite the heated, sometimes intense discussions, we can now state that both answers can be correct.

Even though I strongly believe that 16 is the correct answer, you have to accept that there are different methods to solve the problem. It’s a bit tricky, but also quite interesting.

Now press that SHARE button below to invite your friends to a fun challenge today!

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