Whether you're a math pro or someone who stays away from it as much as possible, you're going to want to try and figure out this problem.
Posted on Facebook by Nejib Tej on Aug. 17, the problem has more than 81,000 reactions, 15,000 shares, and 590,000 comments. It might look simple at first, but has quickly divided people into three different answers: 21, 22, and the 40s. Try to solve it yourself.
Which answer did you arrive at? Hopefully, the answer 21. Here's how to break it down.
The first question, with the horses, will lead you to figuring out the each horse is worth 10. The next question is where it gets tricky. To arrive at the answer 18, each horseshoe is two. Since there are two horseshoes, that means the problem reads as 10 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 18. When you arrive at the next problem, you find that the boots are worth 1 each. So, this problem reads as (2+2) - (1+1) = 2.
Finally, the last problem should be 1 + 10 x 2. Before you start adding 1+10, remember the rules of PEMDAS, which states that multiplication needs to be done before any addition. This means you do 10 x 2 = 20 + 1 = 21. Ta-da! Take a breath — that was a lot to process.
The tricky part with this problem is that some people believe the horseshoes in the second problem are actually multiplied together — not added. So that problem would read as 10 + (2 x 2) + (2 x 2) = 18. So from now on, the horseshoes are 4. To arrive at the answer 2 in the next problem, that would make the boot 2. This would make the final problem 2 + 10 x 4 = 48 or 42, if you didn't follow PEMDAS.
@DailyMirror its 48 right? if a horse = 10, as shoe = 2 and a horse shoe = 4 2+10 x 4 = 48
— AutismoPrime 🌐 (@KylekYourself) September 6, 2016
The internet is of course severely upset and confused, but people on YouTube and Reddit are offering their explanations as to why the answer 21 is correct.
We hope that didn't drive you too crazy.