Simple Math Equation Divides Internet

The equation sent the internet into a frenzy over who had the right answer. Can you solve it?
Loukia Papadopoulos

Last Thursday, Twitter user @pjmolI posted what appeared to be a simple and straightforward equation with the caption "oomfies solve this." The equation was: 8 ÷ 2(2+2) = ?

It might seem straightforward but the equation baffled the internet which was divided between the answers 16 and 1.

Even calculators had different answers for the question. The equation sent the internet into a frenzy with people claiming themselves to be the real math experts.

But the problem lies in the fact that the question is set up to be misleading and of course there is a correct answer. The truth is that regardless of whether you have been taught math algebra with the BODMAS system (brackets, order, division, multiplication, addition, subtraction)  or the PEMDAS one (parentheses, indices, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction), the answer is still 16.

Begin by solving the bracketed addition and you get 8 ÷ 2 x 4 =?. Then, according to both BODMAS and PEMDAS, you solve it from left to right.

You, therefore, do 8 divided by 2 and then you multiply by 4. Simple!

The equation could have been a lot clearer with an extra parenthesis to indicate the order of solving but then it wouldn't have been as fun.

Most Popular
message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron