Viral Math Question Divides the Internet and Even Has Calculators Confused

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A viral math question has left the internet divided as people just can’t work out the answer.

The math questions was first tweeted by Twitter user pjmdolI, who asked people to “solve this.”

But it seems to have broken both peoples brains and their calculators!

The equation appears to be straightforward to begin with, but actually solving the problem is harder than it looks.

The equation is 8÷2(2+2)=?

Maths equations are using solved using the acronym, PEMDAS, a specific order of operations, Indy100 reports.

PEMDAS stands for Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction.

However, from the answers that people have suggested, it seems that the order of operations doesn’t always work.

Answers appear to most commonly be 1 or sixteen.


Have you managed to work it out yet?

Well thankfully, you don’t need to as the equation has blown peoples minds so much so, the New York Times asked a mathematician to answer it.

Professor Steven Strogratz explained: “Deal with whatever is in parentheses first. Of course, 2+2 = 4. So the question boils down to 8÷2×4.”

“If we carry out the division first, we get 4×4 = 16; if we carry out the multiplication first, we get 8÷8 = 1.”
Did you get it right?