A Mathematical Riddle Divides Internet Users: There's a Catch

Henrik Rothen

Dec.28 - 2023 3:47 PM CET

Puzzles
Photo: Privat
Photo: Privat
There's a Catch.

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A mathematical riddle involving four small numbers and basic operations has divided internet users. At first glance, the puzzle seems simple, but it holds a catch.

The riddle has been circulating online for years, sparking intense debates about the correct answer. It appears impossible in mathematics, yet there's no consensus on the result.

The Riddle's Scheme

These tricky tasks, where people often stumble over the order of operations, have been around for a while.

The key is to remember that multiplication and division come first, followed by addition and subtraction. For equal operations, they are performed sequentially from left to right.

The Proposed Solution

Considering this, the solution to the riddle should look like this:

Photo: Privat

This result is also indicated by Google's calculator.

Photo: Google

The Ambiguity

However, there's a nuance. The rule mentioned above does not apply to expressions where multiplication is written algebraically without any sign between the factors, as in our riddle.

Therefore, some suggest a different solution:

Photo: Private

Remember, division can also be written as a fraction, as in this case:

Photo: Privat

What do you think is the correct answer?