Tips&TricksViral mathematical riddle divides the internet: Are you one of the rare geniuses who can solve it?

Viral mathematical riddle divides the internet: Are you one of the rare geniuses who can solve it?

A mathematical puzzle that has two solutions
A mathematical puzzle that has two solutions
Images source: © Canva

1:52 PM EST, December 17, 2023

Intense debates rage amongst social media users over the correct solution to the aforementioned equation. This is more than a simple equation, as it allows for two valid answers as proposed by scientists. How is this possible? Apparently, besides solid mathematical knowledge, you have to demonstrate out-of-the-box thinking, which is not always an easy task.

The viral riddle that has divided the Internet

Viral puzzles often give rise to contention online. Everyone believes in their own solution and tries to convince others of its validity. The equation referenced above is unconventional and inconsistent. It follows some unwritten rules that might not align with standard mathematical principles. Reports suggest that only about one in a thousand respondents get the correct answer. Maybe you are that rare genius who can solve it.

The focal point of the debate compiles four equations that appear incorrect initially. Rather than focusing on addition, it is crucial to unearth the governing rule and the ultimate outcome of the fourth operation. The solution is not immediately apparent, and experienced mathematicians confirm there are indeed two valid solutions!

Solving the puzzle
Solving the puzzle© Freepik | freepik

Deducing the riddle through two methods

Let's begin with the first method. The initial equation is correct and yields the result of 5. This result is added to the sum of "2+5". We follow a similar procedure with the ensuing equation, where the result of the previous equation is added to the sum of "3+6". When the time arrives for the final equation, we compute it under the established rule. Thus, yielding the final result of "40". If you reached this answer first, you nailed it! Note that another method exists, so you may have applied it.

The second method revolves around the multiplication rule. Follow these steps:

"1 + 4 = 5 -> 1 + 4 x 1 = 5",

"2 + 5 = 12 -> 2 + 2 x 5 = 12",

"3 + 6 = 21 -> 3 + 3 x 6 = 21". If you remain consistent with the mentioned rule, the end equation will resolve to:

"8 + 11 = 8 + 8 x 11 = 96".

The puzzle's creators believe that both methods are valid and none of them should be negated. Depending on which method you decide on, the answer will vary. If your answer differs from these provided, then regretfully, it's incorrect. The riddle is quite complex and can't be summed up as a standard mathematical equation.

Related content