Viral Today: August 1 2019

Are you up for a little brain workout? This math equation has divided the internet and no one seems to agree on the correct answer. 

Before we tell you more about it, let us ask you this: are you planning on visiting Jakarta soon? Well, you might want to rethink what you are packing. We’ll tell you in a second why. 

Can You Solve This Simple Math Equation?

Math equations

Take a look at the following equation:


Take a minute to solve it. It’s pretty easy, right? Ok, good. You’ve got the answer? Are you sure it’s correct? Are you absolutely convinced you are right?

So did most people until they realized that they can’t agree on one of two answers. Depending on the method you are using, you can either get 1 or 16.

Different people are using different rules about what order you should use to calculate. Some are doing the parentheses first (2+2) then multiply it by 2 (you will get 8) and then divide everything by 8. So, with this method, the answer is one. Others, are dividing 8 by 2 first (you get 4,) then add the numbers in the brakes and then multiply everything. If you are using this method, then you will get 16. 

So, which is the correct answer?

Both of them! That’s because both BODMAS (bracket, of, division, multiplication, addition, subtraction) and PEMDAS (parentheses, exponents, multiplication/division and addition/subtraction) are a legit way of solving equations. 

The equation has been shared on Twitter a few days ago, but it has now been picked up by different news outlets and it’s going viral. Close to 16k people are talking about it at the moment. 

It’s Human Nature

puzzle pieces

So, why do we get so engaged and sometimes enraged by these puzzles? It has to do with human nature, says Robert Glenn Howard, a social psychologist at the University of Wisconsin. 

People have been playing games and solving puzzles and riddles since ancient times. Due to our competitive nature, our brains are primed to engage in heated debates.

Other Viral Topics Today

  • This Is How People Who Lived Thousands of Years Ago Look like
vector of a family

Oscar Nilsson is a Swedish archaeologist and sculptor, specialized in the reconstruction of human faces. Back in 1996, he opened a company that specializes in facial reconstruction. He works with different museums and helps them reconstruct the faces of the people they find during archeological excavations. 

His attention to detail and the expressiveness of those faces are truly mesmerizing. Take a look

  • Jakarta, the Most Polluted City in the World

According to Jakarta’s Air Quality Index (AQI), Jakarta was named once again the most polluted city in the world. It’s not the first time they got to the top as the city has been a “regular” on the index since 2018.

This morning, Jakarta got an AQI score of 163, placing it at the top of the chart. AQI is a standardized test that measures the levels of pollutants such as carbon monoxide, ground-level ozone, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide, and so on. Anything between 150 and 200 is considered dangerous and unhealthy. 

Back in June, Jakarta topped everything when it recorded an AQI level of 231.

Over to You

So, what answer did you get?. It’s definitely 1. Or maybe 16. What do you think?