“Don’t know much about algebra,” the soulful Sam Cooke sang in 1960. “Don’t know what a slide rule is for!”
Well, neither do we, Sam. It’s been a long time since our school days. But while the principles of math may get harder and harder to recall, sometimes it’s fun to tickle our brains with a gentle challenge.
How hard can this challenge be? After all, it’s only triangles! Well, before you get too confident, this puzzle is trickier than it looks. In fact, most people who attempt to solve it try and fail.
If you’re a competitive sort, then you’ll probably be up for the challenge. It’s a growing trend for people to bounce puzzles between one another on social media, and there’s something uniquely satisfying about solving one. Not to mention, it’s excellent for your intellectual and mental health!
This puzzle, featuring triangles, is pretty much a basic math problem. But you probably have to hark back to the golden age of your school days to start thinking about it in a logical, mathematical way.
Take a look at the geometric picture below, courtesy of The Laugh Bible. The burning question is “How many triangles do you see?” We’ll give you a moment to ponder the answer before deconstructing the best way to tackle this puzzle.
So, how did you do? How many triangles did you find? Did you cheat (we won’t tell!), or did you go it alone?
It’s important to think broadly to figure this one out. To make it slightly easier, you have four options: are there 9, 11, 13, or 15 triangles in total?
Let’s work it out together, and let’s start easy. Firstly, the biggest and most obvious triangle of all is the outside border, marked in red.
Secondly, there are nine small triangles that make up the whole.
Finally, we can make out three larger triangles, each made up of four small ones; these are outlined in blue, purple, and green below, for easy viewing.
Let’s put that all together: 9 + 3 + 1 = 13! So there you have it; the correct answer is 13 triangles, option C!
If you made it to 13 without any intervention, then give yourself a pat on the back. This is not an easy puzzle, so you’re in the minority. Celebrate your enduring math genius; maybe those boring classes stood you in good stead, after all!
According to Sun Signs, the triangle is one of the oldest, most widely used and most meaningful of all symbols. The Greeks used the triangle as the “delta” symbol and to signify a doorway. The triangle, for obvious reasons, has also been inextricably linked to the number three since the dawn of time.
A triangle directed upward represents male energy, whereas a triangle pointed downward represents the female. What do you make of this symbolism? Male or female, young or old, be sure to share this fun math puzzle with your friends and find out whether your loved ones are as smart as you are!
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