Society

Viral Math Problem Sparks Debate (Photo)

| by Sean Kelly

A seemingly easy math problem sparked debate across the Internet about what the right answer is.

The problem was posted to Facebook and shows different colored flowers being used in an equation in place of numbers. Three rows show what different combinations of flowers add up to, with the bottom row left unanswered. 

The first line shows three red flowers, which have a combined value of 60. The next line has a red flower plus two blue flowers, and its sum is 30. The one below shows one blue flower minus two yellow flowers, which equals three. 

The bottom row then shows one yellow flower, plus one red flower, times one blue flower, according to Daily Mail. That equation appears unsolved. 

Though it seems like a simple problem, debate quickly ensued over what the answer actually is. Some said they believe it’s 102 or 110, while others claimed the answer is 25.

Logic puzzle solver Professor Puzzler — who is, in reality, a math teacher named Doug — said the problem is unsolvable because the blue flower in the last equation has a different number of petals than the ones above it. 

"The correct answer to this question is, 'No, I cannot solve this,'" he wrote on a puzzle website, according to Daily Mail. "If you came up with a numerical value, you were wrong (sorry!) ...we do not have any information with which to calculate the value of a blue flower with four petals."

Despite the revelation that the different blue flower has no assigned numerical value, some believe that the answer is 81. This is due to the fact that the bottom flower has four petals instead of five like the other ones, putting its value at four.

With the yellow flower having a value of one and the red having a value of 20, adding those two and multiplying it by four equals 81.

Still, not everyone was convinced.

"That's inconsistent, if [you're] counting petals you need to use that criteria on all the flowers," one reader commented on Awesome Jelly. 

"You know, I think this puzzle is screwy because we have no way of knowing how much the flower with four [petals] is worth or why," another added on Daily Mail. 

Sources: Daily Mail, Awesome Jelly / Photo credit: Trending in China/Facebook via Daily Mail 

Was the math problem easy to solve?
Yes - 0%
Yes - 0%