Can You Solve This So-Called Easy Math Problem for Kids That’s Driving People Crazy?

February 17, 2016 Updated: February 17, 2016

A puzzle for children is stumping adults, sparking an online debate, but be warned, as it might make your head hurt in more ways than one.

 

 

On social media sites, there have been debates about the final answer. Some people came up with different answers, including 14, 15, 16, and 20.

According to The Problem Site:

The answer is, on the surface, not terribly difficult to find:

3 apples = 30, so 1 apple = 10.

10 + 2 bananas = 18, so 2 bananas = 8 and 1 banana = 4

4 – 1 coconut = 2, so 1 coconut = 2

Therefore, 1 coconut + 1 apple + 1 banana = 2 + 10 + 4 = 16

But, the site says there’s a problem with the answer:

Although this is the answer everyone seems to be giving, it’s actually not correct. Notice that each bunch of bananas has four bananas (look closely!) except the one in the final line, which has 3 bananas. Also notice that the third line has one coconut, while the last line has only 1/2 of a coconut.

This changes things!

3 apples = 30, so 1 apple = 10.

10 + 8 bananas = 18, so 8 bananas = 8 and 1 banana = 1

4 – 1 coconut = 2, so 1 coconut = 2

Therefore, 1/2 coconut + 1 apple + 3 bananas = 1 + 10 + 3 = 14

This is a really nice problem, since it gives you a good reminder to pay attention to details!

Dr. Kevin Bowman, a course leader for Mathematics at the University of Central Lancashire, told MailOnline there are an “infinite amount of possible answers” for the problem due to the ambiguity of the riddle.

“You might even say that the two coconut pieces in the third equation are different sizes, and therefore add up to three quarters or even seven eighths when put together,” he added.

It’s unclear where the riddle originated, but it has been circulating online since December.

 

(H/T – The Telegraph)

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